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Pak PM was frisked in US as he was visiting New York as private citizen: Embassy clarifies

Deputy Spokesperson of the United States Embassy in India, Alexander McLaren on Thursday said that Pakistan Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi was frisked at the US airport as he was on private visit.

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Pak PM was frisked in US as he was visiting New York as private citizen: Embassy clarifies
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Deputy Spokesperson of the United States Embassy in India, Alexander McLaren on Thursday said that Pakistan Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi was frisked at the US airport as he was on private visit.

Speaking to ANI, McLaren said that if an individual is on a private visit, irrespective of whether he or she is a citizen or any head of the state, then he has to go through the same security procedure.

"If a head of state chooses to travel privately without diplomatic passport then they are travelling as a private citizen and they have to go through same security screening as you and I and everyone else has gone through," clarified McLaren.

He further said that if an individual was on an official visit, then "it would have been a different story."

The Pakistan Prime Minister was frisked at the John F. Kennedy airport in New York during the security procedure.

A video of the incident showed Prime Minister Abbasi, who reportedly was on a private visit to meet his ailing sister in the US, adjusting his t-shirt after getting out of security checks with his jacket and a trolley bag.

Abbasi, however, has a history of making private trips to foreign nations, as according to Geo News, the PM was previously spotted travelling alone at a train station during his visit to Britain.

This comes at a time when Pakistan-USA relations have been strained lately, especially since US President Donald Trump tweeted, "The United States has foolishly given Pakistan more than 33 billion dollars in aid over the last 15 years, and they have given us nothing but lies & deceit, thinking of our leaders as fools. They give safe haven to the terrorists we hunt in Afghanistan, with little help. No more!"

Earlier this month, Vice-President Mike Pence told Abbasi that Pakistan "must do more" against the Taliban and other militants.

"Vice President Pence reiterated President (Donald) Trump's request that the Government of Pakistan must do more to address the continued presence of the Taliban, Haqqani Network, and other terrorist groups operating in their country," the White House said in a statement.

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