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

Pakistan won’t allow a U.S. diplomat from leaving the country after he was involved in a fatal traffic accident, a Pakistani intelligence official.


Pakistan’s Interior Ministry said Col. Joseph Emanuel Hall is on a “blacklist” because of the criminal case pending against him.

A United States military aircraft was flown in to bring home the military attache but it left without him.

Pakistan officials want the United States to waive his diplomatic immunity to face a criminal trial but American officials have refused.

On April 7, his car ran a red light and a motorcyclist, Ateeq Baig, 22, was killed in the capital, Islamabad. In CCTV footage, a white four-wheel-drive crashed into the bike and then bracked.

On Friday, Islamabad’s High Court left it up to the government to decide whether he should be on a travel ban list, saying he didn’t have absolute immunity.

On the same day, Pakistan imposed travel restrictions on all U.S. diplomats, including movement in the country and no special treatment at airports.

This was in response to U.S. restrictions in which Pakistani diplomats are banned from moving farther than 25 miles away from the cities in which they are posted. If they want to visit another city, they need permission from the State Department five days in advance.

In January, the U.S. government said it was cutting almost all security aid to Pakistan because it failed to deal with terrorist networks operating on its soil. Pakistan, which denied the accusations, said it would no longer share intelligence with the United States.

By Allen Cone