Leaders on private visits subject to normal security procedure: US official

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New Delhi, March 29 (IANS) Amid reports of Pakistan Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi being frisked at an airport in the US, an official at the US Embassy here said on Thursday that he could not confirm this but stated that leaders of countries while on private visits are subject to normal security procedures.

“Obviously we cannot speak about some specific case,” Alexander McLaren, deputy spokesperson of the US Embassy here, said in response to a question during a media interaction.

“My understanding is that if a head of state chooses to travel privately without diplomatic passport, then they are travelling as a private citizen, then he would have to go through the same security screening that you and I will have to go,” he said.

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“Obviously, an official visit is a different story.”

A video that has gone viral on social media shows a casually-dressed Abbasi being frisked at the John F. Kennedy Airport in New York earlier this week.

He was seen putting on his belt after clearing security, picking up his coat and bag and walking away moments later.

According to Pakistani media reports, Abbasi travelled to the US to visit his ailing sister.

–IANS

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