World Media

Pakistan blocks departure of United States diplomat accused in vehicle accident

Pakistan blocks departure of United States diplomat accused in vehicle accident

According to the USA decision, Pakistani diplomats, at the embassy in Washington and four consulates in New York, Los Angeles, Texas and Chicago, will need to stay within 40 km of the city of their posting.

Colonel Joseph Emanuel Hall, Defence and Air attache at the US Embassy in Pakistan had ran down three persons in Daman-e-Koh, north of Islamabad, ratcheting up the ongoing visa/diplomatic rift between the two countries.

It claimed this is the third road-accident in which U.S. diplomats killed people, but were never put to trial due to their immunity.

In its ruling on Friday, the IHC also granted two weeks to the Ministry of Interior to put Col Joseph's name on Exit Control List (ECL).

Pakistan wants Hall to stand trial in Islamabad, and demanded the USA waive his immunity, but the latter has refused.

Pakistani authorities have imposed "reciprocal" restrictions on the movement of USA diplomats in the country after Washington took similar measures.

Islamabad retaliated the same day: apart from travel restrictions, it also banned tinted windows on embassy cars and use of diplomatic plates on diplomats' personal vehicles.

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The Islamabad High Court on Friday on a petition filed by the deceased's father ruled that the United States diplomat does not have absolute immunity in the country.

The latest spat comes amid deteriorating ties between the two countries, with both sides restricting the movement of each other's diplomats in their respective capitals, and the Trump administration seemingly determined to punish Pakistan for its terrorist infractions.

U.S. military attache Col. Joseph Emanuel Hall is accused of running a red light and killing a motorcyclist on April 7 in Islamabad. In fact it is the second time in the last couple of days that Pakistan has taken a bold and just stance on an issue with Washington.

'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.

His father had approached the Islamabad High Court to stop the diplomat from leaving the country.

According to the FIR lodged after the incident, Iqbal misbehaved with police after the accident and attacked Abdul Sattar, the Station House Officer who became a complainant and stated that United States embassy official tried to resist police from shifting the auto and its driver to the station.


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