FIA bars USA diplomat from leaving Pakistan

FIA bars USA diplomat from leaving Pakistan

The diplomat later returned to the embassy.

Fraying ties between once-close allies saw a few more threads snap this weekend after what appeared to be a failed American rescue mission aimed at airlifting Col Joseph Emanuel Hall, a defence attaché at the US Embassy in Islamabad.

On Saturday, the Trump administration appeared to have won a reprieve from the more moderate elements in Pakistan who are keen to fix the damage the dispute has caused, and a C-130 military transport plane was sent from Bagram Air Force Base in Afghanistan to the Nur Khan Air Base in Chaklala outside Rawalpindi, to extricate Col Hall.

The restrictions in Pakistan were imposed on the same day that the U.S. barred diplomats working at the Pakistan Embassy in Washington from travelling outside a 25-mile radius around the city without approval.

"We are in regular communication with our Pakistani counterparts".

A special plane, C-130, reached Noor Khan Airbase on Saturday to take along the accused diplomat, local media earlier reported, adding that the United States embassy had handed over the passport of the official to Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) immigration.

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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.

Sources said that the U.S. diplomat wasn't present at the airbase but would reach there after being allowed to leave the country. Mr Hall was involved in a fatal accident and his case is being heard in Islamabad High Court, which the other day declared that he does not enjoy immunity. 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.

Though over the years the U.S. has been humiliating and ridiculing Pakistan's efforts in the war on terror but it went a step further when on Saturday a United States military plane tried to fly out Defence Attaché Col Joseph Hall from Noor Khan airbase.

Hall is accused of running a red light and killing one Ateeq Baig on April 7.

'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. "My son will never come back and we will consult with our relatives and village community before negotiating the agreement".

Separately, Pakistan's foreign ministry said it would apply travel restrictions to all US diplomatic staff similar to those applied by Washington, according to a notification sent to the US Embassy on Friday and obtained by Reuters.

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