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Saturday, October 08, 2011

Four US nationals arrested in Pakistan

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Four US nationals have been arrested in Pakistan's eastern province of Punjab on suspicion of espionage, amid increasing tensions between Washington and Islamabad, Press TV reports.

The four individuals were arrested on Friday while they were roaming around military bases in Punjab's northern city of Jehlum, and were reportedly taken to an unknown location for investigation.

Neither Washington nor Islamabad has so far commented on the issue.

In February, a CIA contractor called Reymond Davis, claimed by the US to have been a consulate staff, was arrested after he killed two locals in the southern city of Lahore.

Davis's arrest, which soured relations between Washington and Islamabad, engaged top US officials in negotiations with Pakistani authorities over his release.

He was set free after reportedly paying blood money to the family of the victims.

In June, Pakistani government imposed travel restrictions on the US diplomats in the country, forcing them to get a 'No Objection Certificate' before leaving the capital, Islamabad, for any other cities.

Pakistani experts believe that violence in the northwest of the country has decreased after the government limited the movements of the Pakistan-based US officials.

The experts say most of American diplomats traveling across Pakistan without legal documents are agents of the US intelligence agency, the CIA, which they say is trying to destabilize the Asian country.

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