FIA bars United States diplomat from leaving Pakistan

US diplomat doesn't have'absolute immunity

US diplomat doesn't have'absolute immunity

In the latest in a series of retaliatory actions against each other, Pakistan yesterday turned back a U.S. aircraft that had arrived to collect Col Joseph Emanuel Hall, a diplomat involved in a fatal road accident.

Colonel Joseph Hall, a defence attaché, accompanied by eight people from the US Embassy had reached Nur Khan Air Base in Rawalpindi to board a special aircraft that had arrived from Bagram base in Afghanistan.

US Military Attache Col Joseph Emanuel Hall rammed his SUV into a motorcycle in Islamabad last month, killer the rider.

When Hall's credentials describe him as a diplomat, thus implying he enjoys immunity, Pakistan is contesting it even as the issue has become mired in local courts.

On April 24, the interior ministry had informed the court that in order to restrict the movement of Col Hall, his name had been placed on the blacklist of the Directorate of Immigration.

Colonel Hall on April 7 jumped a traffic signal in Islamabad and hit a motorbike carrying two men.

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

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The court directed Interior Ministry for putting United States diplomat Colonel Joseph's name in the Exit Control List (ECL) in case pertaining to killing a youth in road accident.

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.

Tensions between the US 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.

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

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

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

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