Published: Mon, May 14, 2018
Life&Culture | By Jesus Walton

Pakistan bars United States diplomat involved in fatal road accident from leaving country

Pakistan bars United States diplomat involved in fatal road accident from leaving country

The move came a day after Pakistan said it would restrict the movements of all American diplomats in the country in response to Washington's similar restrictions on Pakistani embassy diplomats.

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.

According to the U.S. 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.

Tensions between the USA and Pakistan have been rising over the fatal accident, which infuriated many Pakistanis and has resulted in the two countries restricting the movement of each other's remaining diplomats, Reuters reported.

Local media showed footage of a U.S. 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.

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

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On Friday, Islamabad's High Court, noting that Colonel Hall did not have full diplomatic immunity, left it up to the government to decide whether to add his name to a travel ban list.

"We are in regular communication with our Pakistani counterparts". But Washington has long believed it actually shelters the Taliban's leaders, and President Donald Trump has cut off military aid in an effort to pressure Pakistan.

Pakistan officials have demanded the United States waive his diplomatic immunity so that he can face a criminal trial, but American officials have refused.

'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. Consequently, two riders of the bike suffered injuries and one of them, 22-year-old Ateeq Baig, succumbed to his injuries.

A letter sent to the U.S. Embassy in Islamabad says the restrictions will be implemented Friday.

'We are ready for agreement but on the condition of his arrest, ' he said, referring to Colonel Hall.

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