19 February 2009

If I Wanted to Visit Pakistan in 1981. . .

Well, let's suppose on the morning of 14 June, 1981, I'd picked up a copy of The New York Times and began reading an article titled "Lahore, A Survivor With a Bittersweet History." I might be intrigued, but, considering all the instability in the region, I might be unsure whether or not I, as a U S citizen, could actually go to Pakistan on my USA passport. But then the article answers my uncertainties: "[t]ourists can obtain a free, 30-day visa (necessary for Americans) at border crossings and airports" (NYT). Ah, so I can visit Pakistan? But let's make sure. Let's say I head down to the passport office just to double check, and sure enough, there is a travel advisory for American citizens wanting to travel to Pakistan on USA passports! It says:
Before traveling to Pakistan, American citizens should be aware of the following updated visa requirements: 30 day visas are available at Pakistani airports for tourists only (Department of State).
So in 1981, I could travel to Pakistan, legally and everything. I certainly wouldn't need to travel under a foreign, let's say (for the heck of it) an Indonesian passport--a simple USA passport would do nicely, thank you.

But seriously, I can't believe that this particular Obama rumor--that in 1981 he couldn't have possibly traveled to Pakistan on a US passport--is still around when it's so easily disproven.

H/T to Dr Conspiracy for the DOS link.


Anonymous said...

I think that one of the reasons that this urban legend persists is because of so-called news organizations like WorldNetDaily who post these things, and never go back to retract or correct when they are proven to be lies.

If I had ever made a mistake like that I would scour my web site and visibly correct every instance and it would be done before anything else I do.

It's called integrity.

mpandgs said...

I agree with your thoughts on integrity and that the WND article should have been amended.

Even so, the evidence provided by the DOS TA isn't enough for some; I've received two emails suggesting that the linked TA might be a forgery because of it's scanned rather wonkily.

I asked my correspondents if they'd noticed that the linked TA is at the DOS ARCHIVE at UIC, and it's located on a page last modified in 2002. No response.

Oddly, neither of the emails' writers even acknowledged the NYT article.

Thanks for stopping by and for commenting.

Sheraton Karachi said...

Well, you are exactly right i m agree with you about the integrity and you can visit Pakistan now condition is also better.