Pakistan stops United States diplomat to fly out in Bagram-bound plane


The Federal Investigation Authority (FIA) on Saturday barred US Defense and Air Attaché Colonel Emanual Joseph from leaving the country.

A U.S. Air Force C130 had landed at Pakistan's Nur Khan air base to bring Hall back to the United States, but was forced to leave without him, according to the Pakistani media. The High Court gave the Interior Ministry to decide if Hall's name should be placed on the Exit Control List (a travel ban list), according to The Nation.

The Pakistani authorities are claiming that they have stopped a USA diplomat to fly out of the country in a Bagram-bound plane, it has been reported.

A day earlier, an Islamabad court had ruled his diplomatic immunity may not apply in the April 7 traffic accident in which the USA attache's vehicle hit a motorcycle, killing the 22-year-old driver, both papers reported.

New US restrictions limit all Pakistani diplomats and their families to traveling no more than 25 miles from Washington or other cities with Pakistani consulates unless they have permission.

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The airfield incident occurred a day after the USA and Pakistani governments imposed curbs on movements of each other's diplomats.

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. But Washington has long believed it actually shelters the Taliban's leaders, and President Donald Trump has cut off military aid in an effort to pressure Pakistan.

'This is a development that could well develop into a full-blown crisis for relations if it's not resolved soon, ' said South Asia expert at the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington Michael Kugelman.

"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".

The Kohsar police arrested Syed Taimoor Iqbal from the parking area of the district and sessions court Islamabad as he had allegedly threatened and assaulted the police officials besides assisting a U.S. diplomat, escape from police custody after a fatal traffic accident.