You know, I have no idea what nation’s passport young Barry was traveling on in 1981, but to claim it couldn’t have been a US passport because Pakistan was on a “no travel” list of some kind is PURE CRAP.
I KNOW it is pure crap because I traveled to Pakistan in the same time frame on my US passport with no difficulty whatsoever. Not only that, but there were PLENTY of Americans there at the time, working on a myriad of projects. It wasn’t the nicest place in the world for an American, but the pay was good, and with a low profile, no more dangerous that a bunch of other places in the world where Americans toil.
Not only did I travel to Pakistan in the early 1980s, but also to Afghanistan, India, Nepal, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Finland, Thailand, Indonesia, Dubai, Kuwait, Bahrain, and more. I mention this only to establish that I traveled a lot in those days, and a trip to Pakistan was not different in any way to going to any of these other places, you get a visa and go. It was NOT necessary to get any special State Department permission.
One more thing, just to clear up another possible misconception. Other countries don’t give a rat’s ass whether the US State Department have them on some sort of list when it comes to admitting visitors. What, does anyone think that when someone presents at an immigration station somewhere, the immigration official will pipe up with a “Sorry, your State Department has placed our country on a no visit list, so you can’t come in.”
That’s a laugher.
All true, but getting back in to the U.S. can be a bee-yotch if you've gone to a travel-ban country, unless you can clean that paper trail.
And, yes, I was suspicious before, and aware now, about the lack of a ban to Paki in 81.