Pakistan bars U.S. diplomat from leaving nation after fatal accident

Pakistan bars U.S. diplomat from leaving nation after fatal accident

Pakistan bars U.S. diplomat from leaving nation after fatal accident

Pakistani authorities have barred a USA diplomat, involved in a road accident that killed a motorcyclist in the capital Islamabad, from leaving the country. Washington later suspended its security assistance to Pakistan.

The US Air Force C-130 flew into Islamabad at 11.15am from Bagram airbase in Afghanistan.

A spokesman for the U.S. embassy in Islamabad declined to comment on either development in the uneasy alliance with Pakistan.

The aircraft returned to Bagram sans Hall.

"So far no government official or US Embassy official has offered us the agreement".

Officials in Islamabad have demanded that the U.S. waive Hall's diplomatic immunity in order to face trial but so far America has refused. Just Friday, we saw the Foreign Office in a tit for tat move imposed reciprocal travel restrictions on American diplomats after the same were slapped by Washington on Pakistani diplomats.

Also on Friday, Pakistan placed travel restrictions on United States diplomats based in the country, the latest in a series of retaliatory measures that threaten to plunge already strained relations to their worst level in years.

According to the USA decision, Pakistani diplomats, at the embassy in Washington and four consulates in New York, Los Angeles, Texas and Chicago, will need to stay within 25 miles (40-kms) of the city of their posting.

One of them was killed.

Col Hall had escaped arrest because of diplomatic immunity but a first information report (FIR) regarding the incident was registered with Kohsar Police Station.

Hall is accused of running a red light and killing Ateeq Baig on April 7. The passenger on the bike was also wounded.

'Since Joseph is understood to have diplomatic immunity, Pakistan's refusal to let him leave the country will be seen by Washington as a wholly unjustifiable and illegal act, ' he added.

This came a day after both countries placed travel-restrictions on each others' diplomats. Especially with national elections approaching, he said, "I fear the relationship will get worse if serious efforts are not made to improve ties". They revoke a list of perks such as allowing diplomats to use tinted auto window glass, nondiplomatic license plates, unregistered cellphone SIM cards and unapproved radio communications in their residences and safe houses.

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