UN Official: Aid Workers Overreacting on Strained US-Pakistan Relations

Local men unload humanitarian supplies for flood victims from a U.S. aircraft in Pakistan. Pakistan-based aid workers complaining of heightened restrictions on foreigners' movement in the country are overreacting, according to an U.N. official. Photo by: Joshua Kruger / CC BY-SA

Pakistan-based aid workers who are complaining of heightened restrictions on foreigners’ movement in the country and possible implications of strained U.S.-Pakistan relations are overreacting, a U.N. official said.

International aid groups and U.S. embassy officials have complained of the increased scrutiny of their movements in Pakistan and stricter requirements in applying for a visa to the country. These have affected their work and caused delays in projects in flood-hit areas of Pakistan.

>> In Pakistan, Reports of More Restrictions on Expats’ Movements

The aid groups said the increased scrutiny of foreigners in Pakistan could be the result of the fallout between the country and the United States following the U.S. raid that killed al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden and the shooting incident involving a Central Intelligence Agency contractor. Some aid workers have expressed concern over getting caught in between the strained relationship of the U.S. and Pakistan.

A U.N. official, however, has disagreed with this assessment.

“Certainly the situation has resulted in mistrust,” the Guardian quotes the official, who the newspaper did not name. “But they [aid workers] come into the country for a short period, they don’t know the system, and they overreact.”

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About the author

  • Ivy Mungcal

    As former senior staff writer, Ivy Mungcal contributed to several Devex publications. Her focus is on breaking news, and in particular on global aid reform and trends in the United States, Europe, the Caribbean, and the Americas. Before joining Devex in 2009, Ivy produced specialized content for U.S. and U.K.-based business websites.