Pakistan blocks USA diplomat from leaving country

  • Pakistan blocks USA diplomat from leaving country

Pakistan blocks USA diplomat from leaving country

Pakistan and the United States had announced restrictions on diplomats after a USA embassy vehicle driven by Colonel Joseph Emanual Hall, defense and air attache of the U.S. embassy in Islamabad, killed a Pakistani motorcyclist in Islamabad on April 7.

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.

"We are in regular communication with our Pakistani counterparts". As a result, two riders of the bike suffered injuries and one of them, 22-year-old Ateeq Baig, later died.

The US diplomat was let go by police officials in Islamabad after the accident as the law - Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, 1961 - provided the diplomat immunity from criminal prosecution.

Meanwhile, on Friday, Pakistan had also imposed travel restrictions on U.S. diplomats in the country following a similar decision by the USA administration.

The US Embassy in Islamabad has not commented regarding the report so far.

Sources said that a special aircraft had arrived at the Noor Khan Airbase earlier today to fly back the USA diplomat to Washington but the Federal Investigation Authority (FIA) obtained his passport for clearance.

American diplomats have long complained about harassment from police and security officials in Pakistan, who repeatedly get stopped and ticketed for petty offenses that take valuable time and energy to resolves.

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

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

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