Pakistan Prevents US Diplomat From Leaving the Country

14 May, 2018, 06:12 | Author: Sheila Harris
  • US diplomat doesn't have'absolute immunity

Local media showed footage of a United States plane at Nur Khan airbase in Rawalpindi near Islamabad that reportedly arrived earlier today to fly back defence and air attache Colonel Joseph Emanuel Hall.

An American attempt to bring back its diplomat involved in the killing of a youth in Islamabad after Pakistan barred Col Joseph Emanuel Hall from leaving the country.

Pakistan has asked USA officials to withdraw Hall's diplomatic immunity, and the matter is being reviewed by Pakistani courts.

U.S. officials declined to comment Sunday, citing the sensitivity of the situation.

Hall is accused of running a red light and killing Ateeq Baig on April 7. 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.

Hours earlier Pakistan had imposed tight restrictions on American diplomats, banning unauthorised travel and stripping them of diplomatic perks.

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Meanwhile, on Friday, Pakistan had also imposed travel restrictions on U.S. diplomats in the country following a similar decision by the U.S. administration. In fact the matter was also discussed during the last visit of USA official Alice Wells.

A security official said that the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) refused to give clearance to Hall flying out of the country as his name was on the blacklist and he could not leave Pakistan.

'This is a development that could well develop into a full-blown crisis for relations if it's not resolved soon, ' said South Asia expert at the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington Michael Kugelman.

The decision was made after Washington announced similar travel measures for Pakistani officials, Dawn newspaper website posted. The permission for Col Hall to leave was not granted and the special aircraft returned to Bagram at around 4pm.

'My son will never come back and we will consult with our relatives and village community before negotiating the agreement. "So far no government official or US Embassy official has offered us the agreement".

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