LAHORE - The US Lahore Consulate is going to restart its normal operations in a month or so, as both the federal and Punjab governments have agreed to address the security concerns.
The necessary construction work to enhance security at the consulate building is underway while the Punjab government has already fenced the wall along one side of the road leading to the premises.
While confirming the construction-related activity at the Lahore Mission, the spokesperson for the consulate, Lydia Barraza, has rejected media reports that the enhanced security had anything to do with the spying network. While talking to The Nation, she termed such reports ‘erroneous’.
“The Lahore Consulate had indeed initiated construction project as part of the standard practice to meet overseas requirements for US facilities. This will provide an enhanced and secure workspace for American and local staff to continue to strengthen the US-Pakistan relationship in Punjab,” Lydia told this scribe. She also appreciated the Punjab government for its cooperation and support to provide security to the US and local staff at the consulate. “We always appreciate the Punjab government’s continued commitment to provide security to our diplomatic facilities here,” she said.
As per sources, the issue of marines’ deployment at the facility, as demanded by the US, has also been sorted out. The US had sought foolproof security at its Lahore Mission at par with Islamabad Embassy. Presently, the Lahore Consulate is operating from Islamabad.
The State Department ordered closure of te consulate on August 8, citing security threats. All non-emergency staff was pulled out and shifted to the Islamabad Embassy while a few were called back to the United States.
It may be recalled that the City District Government Lahore had stopped construction work on a security tower. The US government wanted to construct it outside the consulate building.