Pakistan, viewed as an epicentre of global terrorism, could be included in a list of Muslim- majority countries from where immigration to the US has been banned by President Donald Trump, the White House has hinted.
"Why not Pakistan?," White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer was asked when he appeared on Tuesday at the George Washington University for a forum on media's relationship with President Trump.
"Maybe we will," Spicer said, responding to the question, which has been trailing senior White House officials ever since President 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.
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.
"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 asserted.
"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.
Over the weekend, White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus had also said that Pakistan could also be included in a list of Muslim-majority countries from where immigration to the US has been banned by President Trump.