Pakistan PM Shahid Khaqan Abbasi 'Welcomed' To US With Security Check, Video Goes Viral

| March 28 , 2018 , 11:02 IST

The relations between the US and Pakistan are undoubtedly strained, but adding insult upon injury, Pakistani Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, on a 'personal' visit to the US was forced to undergo a routine security check at the US airport, a video of which has since then gone viral.

While Abbasi claimed his visit to the US was 'personal' to visit his ailing sister, he also met with US Vice President Mike Pence, who bluntly told Abbasi that Pakistan needs to do more to address concerns over safe havens for terrorist groups on their land

Although security checks are a standard procedure for persons travelling to the US, generally national leaders are accorded with a more respectful welcome, resulting in Pakistani media terming PM Abbasi's security check as an 'indignity'.

"He should be ashamed for saying he went on a private visit. He is the prime minister… he has a diplomatic passport …there is no such thing as a private visit. He is representing the country… there are certain protocols when you are representing 22 crore people," said a Pakistani TV anchor.

Since January 2018, the US President Donald Trump administration has suspended funding worth nearly $2 billion to Pakistan, and recently imposed sanctions on 7 Pakistani companies suspected of having links to nuclear trade.

The US has been increasing pressure on Pakistan since last year when Trump announced his new South Asia policy, demanding that Pakistan take action against safe havens for terrorists on its soil, which the US claims is affecting the war efforts in Afghanistan and the peace in the overall region.

According to US's Foreign Policy magazine, the Trump administration is 'weighing unprecedented political penalties' on Pakistan for harbouring Afghan militants waging war on the US-backed government in Afghanistan.

"The options under consideration include revoking Pakistan’s status as a major non-NATO ally, permanently cutting off the US military aid that was suspended two months ago, and even imposing visa bans or other sanctions on individuals in the Pakistani government deemed responsible for providing support to the militants," the publication said.