Embarrassment for Pakistan as PM Shahid Abbasi undergoes security check at US airport, faces ire at home

By: | Updated: March 28, 2018 9:56 AM

In a development that has left people of Pakistan furious, Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi had to undergo a normal security check at a US airport during his visit to the country last week.

Shahid Khaqan Abbasi US TRIPSAccording to reports, Abbasi arrived here last week on a private visit to meet his ailing sister. A report by Geo TV claimed that the Prime Minister went through the security check voluntarily.

In a development that has left people of Pakistan furious, Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi had to undergo a normal security check at a US airport during his visit to the country last week. Abbasi’s security check footage was aired by several Pakistani TV channels that showed him picking up his bag and coat and walking out from a security check room at an American airport.

The move is unprecedented because normally no head of state is subject to a security check, be it a private trip or a state visit. According to reports, Abbasi arrived here last week on a private visit to meet his ailing sister. A report by Geo TV claimed that the Prime Minister went through the security check voluntarily.

Abbasi’s security check left Pakistani TV anchors enraged who said that he should be ashamed for saying he went on a private visit. They noted that he represents a country and holds a diplomatic passport.

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The development left the Pakistani media fuming with several TV channels claiming that Abbasi had brought shame to the country. The Statesman slammed Abbasi for not lodging any protest with the US authorities present there. The incident had reportedly taken place at JFK International Airport in New York.

Reports say that Abbasi had also met Vice President Mike Pence in an unplanned engagement. During the meet, Pence bluntly told him to do more to check terror activities emanating from his country’s land.

The relationship between the US and Pakistan have deteriorated sharply in last one year. The past few months have seen the Trump administration taking a tough stand against Pakistan. From changing its Afghanistan policy to stopping military aid, and now fresh sanctions on companies over suspicion of having links with the nuclear trade, the US has warmed Islamabad on many occasions to deal with terror groups with a firm hand.

There are also reports suggesting that Washington may be considering imposing a visa ban on Pakistan.

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