Washington: The White House on Tuesday hinted that Pakistan, considered by many as harbinger of terrorism, could be included in US President Donald Trump’s travel ban list.
“Why not Pakistan,” White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer was asked when he appeared at the George Washington University on Trump Administration and the News Media.
“Maybe we will,” Spicer said, responding to the question, which has been trailing senior White House officials ever since US President Donald Trump signed an executive order that prevented people from seven Muslim majority countries from entering the US.
These countries are Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Iran, Somalia, Libya and Yemen.
For the past few days, top White House officials have been asked why the list does not include countries like Pakistan, Afghanistan and Saudi Arabia.
Over the weekend, the White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus said that Pakistan is under consideration. “I believe it (ban) only has detrimental effects on the countries it has included and if that is extended to Pakistan it will create a whole host of hostilities,” Pakistani politician Bilawal Bhutto Zardari had told a Washington audience yesterday in response to a question.
The White House Press Secretary indicated that Pakistan could very well be part of that list.
“Maybe we will. The bottom line is we started with the seven countries that have previously been identified, did a 90-day review. Maybe during that 90-day review we find other countries or we take someone off or whatever. But it is a review process,” Spicer said in response to the question at George Washington University.
“Our number one priority as a government and as leaders is to protect the 324 million people who live in this country. So I understand that people may be inconvenienced a little coming into the nation. But this is our nation, our country. Our first and foremost responsibility is to our people,” he said.
“If people want to come to this country and visit or travel or study, then we welcome them. We’ve always been a welcoming country. But the idea that we should just have an open door and let people in willy-nilly is ridiculous,” Spicer said.