The U.S.-Pakistan relationship suffered another blow last week, when the State Department said its diplomats in Pakistan were unable to travel freely. Pakistan's Dawn newspaper reported on Sunday that U.S. Ambassador to Pakistan Cameron Munter was briefly detained at an airport.
Munter's detention is not an isolated incident. In the past month, sources say a very senior U.S. intelligence officer has also been stopped at an airport in Pakistan.
State Department spokesperson Mark Toner said today that U.S. personnel in Pakistan have to carry a certificate in order to travel.
Ambassador Munter was asked for his certificate at Islamabad's airport while catching a plane to Karachi, according to Toner. Munter did not have the certificate with him, Toner said, but was allowed to board the plane. Toner also noted that his return trip to Islamabad was "without incident."
"The issue is the right for our diplomats -- according to the Vienna Conventions -- to travel freely within the country where they work," Toner told the press. "We have expressed our concerns with the Pakistanis... And we're working to resolve it."
Asked if the U.S. is considering reciprocal action against Pakistani diplomats in the United States, Toner would only say the State Department is working to resolve the issue. Speaking hypothetically, however, Toner said "reciprocity is always a consideration," but "in this case, we are working with the government of Pakistan."
These brush ups come after the May 2 U.S. mission that killed Osama Bin Laden. Pakistan was not notified of the operation beforehand. Relations between the two countries have soured since.