Published: Mon, May 14, 2018
Worldwide | By Lisa Hogan

Pakistan Prevents US Diplomat From Leaving the Country

Pakistan Prevents US Diplomat From Leaving the Country

On April 7, US Defence and Air Attaché Col Joseph Emanuel Hall jumped a red light at Daman-i-Koh Chowk and hit a motorcycle.

Pakistani authorities have barred a USA diplomat involved in a fatal traffic accident from leaving the country, forcing an American military aircraft flown in for his departure to leave without him, local media reported on Saturday. Just Friday, we saw the Foreign Office in a tit for tat move imposed reciprocal travel restrictions on American diplomats after the same were slapped by Washington on Pakistani diplomats. Consequently, two riders of the bike suffered injuries and one of them, 22-year-old Ateeq Baig, succumbed to his injuries. Mr Hall was involved in a fatal accident and his case is being heard in Islamabad High Court, which the other day declared that he does not enjoy immunity.

Sources said that the USA diplomat wasn't present at the airbase but would reach there after being allowed to leave the country.

Officials in Islamabad have demanded that the United States waive Hall's diplomatic immunity in order to face trial but so far America has refused.

US-Pakistan relations have worsened since January, when the Trump administration announced it had suspended almost all of the $1.3 billion in annual security aid given to Pakistan. Washington later suspended its security assistance to Pakistan. That came days after President Trump complained on Twitter that Pakistan had "given us nothing but lies & deceit" and accused it of providing "safe haven to the terrorists we hunt in Afghanistan".

According to details, a special aircraft arrived at the Nur Khan Airbase here to take the American diplomat home.

The new US rules require diplomats to obtain permission to travel more than 40 kilometers (25 miles) from their stations, the local Dawn newspaper reported.

Pakistan's interior ministry said Joseph is on a "blacklist" and is not allowed to leave because of the criminal case pending against him.

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