Pakistan, U.S. try to narrow differences as officials meet

The United States and Pakistan are working to smooth over travel curbs which Islamabad has imposed on U.S. diplomats, a senior U.S. official said on Tuesday, the latest strain in ties that have worsened since the killing of Osama bin Laden.

Pakistan says it has introduced the restrictions on U.S. diplomats’ movements around the country as a security measure but U.S. officials say they smack of harassment.

“The government of Pakistan has some regulations … and we are trying to figure out how to meet those requirements,” U.S. special envoy for Afghanistan and Pakistan Marc Grossman said.

“I am absolutely certain that we will be able to do so … in a way that allows the government of Pakistan to meet its requirements and allow American diplomats to travel freely in Pakistan,” he told reporters.

Grossman was speaking after talks with Pakistani and Afghan officials in Islamabad on coordinating efforts to end the violence in Afghanistan.

Pakistani foreign ministry officials say the restrictions — requiring diplomats get “No Objections Certificates,” or NoCs, from authorities before leaving Islamabad — are neither new nor specific to U.S. officials. Rather, they are meant to ensure the security of diplomats in a country where militants have unleashed a campaign of bomb and suicide attacks.