United States diplomat involved in hit-and-run case barred from leaving Pakistan

Pakistan bars US diplomat from leaving

Pakistan is virtually holding an American diplomat hostage after preventing him from boarding a US military plane sent to bring him out of Islamabad, where he is sequestered at the US Embassy while the two sides are locked in a dispute over his diplomatic status and immunity issues.

Earlier on Friday, the Islamabad High Court (IHC) had ruled that US Defence and Air Attaché Colonel Emanual Joseph does not have absolute immunity.

A United States military aircraft flown in to bring home Col. Joseph Emanuel Hall, a U.S. military attaché, had to leave without him, the official said.

New US restrictions limit all Pakistani diplomats and their families to traveling no more than 25 miles from Washington or other cities with Pakistani consulates unless they have permission.

The diplomat later returned to the embassy.

On April 7, Colonel Joseph Emanuel Hall ran a red light and rammed into a motorcycle killing a Pakistani civilian.

The US embassy has also reportedly handed over passport of the diplomat to FIA immigration officials, who are awaiting orders from the top authorities for further action.

It also ordered the government to decide about adding his name to the Exit Control List, which controls the movement of people wanted by courts or those involved in corruption.

The issue has further strained the ties between Pakistan and the United States which are already at odds over the issue of providing safe havens to the Taliban and the Haqqani network terror groups in Afghanistan.

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.

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

Idris Baig, the father of man killed in the accident, said in an interview that he was satisfied with the current proceedings.

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

'My son will never come back and we will consult with our relatives and village community before negotiating the agreement.

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