Pakistan Prevents US Diplomat From Leaving the Country
Pakistan Prevents US Diplomat From Leaving the Country
US diplomat involved in hit-and-run case barred from leaving Pakistan
14 May, 2018, 06:14
The authorities in Pakistan barred an American diplomat involved in a fatal traffic accident from leaving the country on Saturday and briefly detained him for questioning, according to a senior Pakistani intelligence official.
A special plane, C-130, reached Noor Khan Airbase on Saturday to take along the accused diplomat, local media earlier reported, adding that the USA embassy had handed over the passport of the official to Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) immigration.
The Foreign Ministry described the act as a matter of reciprocity, since most foreign diplomats, including USA diplomats, are facing travel restrictions here due to security problems, the IANS agency said.
Hall is accused of running a red light and killing Ateeq Baig on April 7. "We do not discuss details of diplomatic conversations", the spokeswoman said.
On Saturday, Hall was prevented from boarding a U.S. plane, the latest twist in a dispute that has raised anti-American sentiment in Pakistan, a security ally that is increasingly at odds with the United States on major issues.
The FIA didn't allow Joseph to leave the country until the officials get orders from the federal government.
Meanwhile, on Friday, Pakistan had also imposed travel restrictions on USA diplomats in the country following a similar decision by the United States administration.
Six weeks ago, the State Department threatened to impose a travel restriction on Pakistan's Washington diplomatic corps if the harassment did not end by Friday. That came days after President Trump complained on Twitter that Pakistan had "given us nothing but lies & deceit" and accused it of providing "safe haven to the terrorists we hunt in Afghanistan". Washington later suspended its security assistance to Pakistan. However, Pakistani immigration officials refused to allow Col Hall from boarding the plane, compelling him to return to the embassy.
At the time of the accident that claimed the life of a motorcyclist and injured his companion, the U.S. embassy in fact had also offered full cooperation but Saturday's act on part of the USA reflects it does not value the blood of any other person except its own citizens.
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