U.S. aircraft returns after diplomat refused clearance to leave Pakistan

U.S. aircraft returns after diplomat refused clearance to leave Pakistan

On Friday, Islamabad High Court ruled the United States diplomat does not enjoy absolute immunity.

Earlier, there were reports that a special USA aircraft arrived at the Nur Khan Airbase on Saturday noon to take along Defence and Air Attaché Col Joseph Emanuel Hall who is facing travel restrictions after the April 7 auto accident.

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

The US representatives waited for four hours at the Pakistani airbase but the FIA officials did not allow Hall to leave the country as his name was put on the blacklist by the Ministry of Interior. Joseph Hall, the U.S. Embassy's military attaché in Pakistan, was prevented from leaving the country while U.S. officials were informed he could not leave until the accident was adjudicated.

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.

Tensions between the USA 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.

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

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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.

Relations were further strained when Trump stated publicly that Islamabad has "given us nothing but lies & deceit" in a tweet posted earlier this year.

"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.

An American attempt to bring back its diplomat involved in the killing of a youth in Islamabad after Pakistan barred Col Joseph Emanuel Hall from leaving the country. However, Pakistani immigration officials refused to allow Col Hall from boarding the plane, compelling him to return to the embassy.

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

"We have also informed the US Embassy that he can not fly out of the country following the court orders", he further said.

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