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False: There was a US travel ban when Obama went to Pakistan in 1981

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Adelante Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-07-09 12:15 PM
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False: There was a US travel ban when Obama went to Pakistan in 1981
Obama did go to Pakistan that year when he was 20 years old with a college friend, after first seeing his mother and half-sister in Indonesia. That much is true.

Birthers claimed that the Pakistan trip constituted indirect proof of Obamas supposed Indonesian citizenship. Philadelphia lawyer Phil Berg even told the U.S. Supreme Court last year, before it refused to hear his case challenging Obamas qualification to be president, that Pakistan was on the State Departments travel ban list for U.S. Citizens.

But that claim is quite false. There was no such ban. Americans traveled there without incident, as shown by a travel piece that appeared in the New York Times in 1981, dated June 14. Barbara Crossette, an assistant news editor of the Times, told her mostly American readers they could travel to Lahore, Pakistan, by air, rail or road, adding: Tourists can obtain a free, 30-day visa (necessary for Americans) at border crossings and airports.

Her article prompted a letter to the Times from the U.S. consul general in Lahore saying he would welcome an influx of Americans to Lahore. He cautioned only that in addition to getting a visa for Pakistan, American visitors also should be careful to line up an Indian visa for the return trip if they planned to travel overland. The letter is dated Aug. 23, 1981.

Also, a travel advisory from the State Department dated Aug. 17, 1981 notes that Americans traveling to Pakistan require a 30-day visa, and that any staying longer must check in with Pakistans Foreigner Registration Office. A digital copy of the advisory is archived at the Electronic Research Collection, a partnership between the State Department and the Federal Depository Library at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

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Lasher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-08-09 01:10 PM
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1. Here's another debunking on this one:
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Adelante Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-24-09 04:22 PM
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2. Statement by Department of State, 7/24/09

McCain Campaign Investigated, Dismissed Obama Citizenship Rumors
Frivolous 'Birther' Lawsuits Fuel Conspiracy Theories, Media Coverage

By David Weigel 7/24/09 8:38 AM


Another claim: Obama traveled to Pakistan in 1981, when it was illegal for an American to do so, suggesting that he used a non-American passport. The problem is that there never was any such ban.

We have no record of any travel ban between America and Pakistan during that period or since, said Noel Clay, a spokesman for the State Department.

We got that from someplace, Berg told TWI on Thursday. In an email, he added his paralegal was reviewing his files on Pakistan. Yet the false claim appears in Orly Taitzs lawsuit on behalf of perennial presidential candidate Alan Keyes, which argues that Obama visited Pakistan when entrance to Pakistan was banned to Americans, Christians and Jews, proof that he gave up his American citizenship.
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Adelante Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-29-09 12:12 PM
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3. History of PIA Hijackings: Domestic Flight Inside Pakistan, March 2, 1981
Flight: Karachi Peshawar

Flight number: PK-326

Description: On March 2, 1981, Pakistan Internationals flight PK-326 began as a routine domestic hop from Karachi to Peshawar . In midair three heavily armed men seized the plane, diverted it to Kabul, Afghanistan, and demanded the release of 92 political prisoners from the Pakistani jails. On March 7, twenty nine hostages including women, children and sick men were released in Kabul. The Boeing 720B sat in Kabul for a week, and when Pakistans President Mohammad Zia-ul-Haq refused to give in, the hijackers shot a Pakistani diplomat Tariq Rahim in full view of the other passengers and dumped his body onto the tarmac.

Next, on March 9, the plane flew to Damascus, Syria, and by the time ordeal ended there on March 14, more than 100 hostages had endured 13 days of tension and squalor. At that time it was the longest hijacking episode in the history.

The gunmen repeatedly threatened to blow up the plane, but were talked into long extensions while negotiations continued by radio with Pakistani and Syrian officials in the Damascus control tower. Finally the hijackers said they would settle for just 55 prisoners but they coupled the concession with a grim warning: they would soon kill the three Americans on board. Be ready to pick up the bodies, they told the tower. Just twenty minutes before the deadline President Zia gave in, ordering that the prisoners be flown to sanctuary in Libya. Its over, said Pakistani negotiator Sarfraz Khan.

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Lasher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-30-09 03:11 AM
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4. Snopes has one on this now.
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