Pakistani authorities bar U.S. envoy involved in mishap from leaving country

Americans return empty handed after FIA bars 'killer' US diplomat from leaving Pakistan

Pakistan has prevented a USA diplomat involved in a fatal road accident in Islamabad to leave the country, a move that could further strain the bilateral ties.

On April 7, Colonel Joseph Emanuel Hall ran a red light and rammed into a motorcycle killing a Pakistani civilian.

The US embassy has also reportedly handed over passport of the diplomat to FIA immigration officials, who are awaiting orders from the top authorities for further action.

A senior Pakistani Intelligence official later told The New York Times that Hall was questioned by police in Islamabad.

The development came a day after Islamabad High Court passed a judgement that the U.S. diplomat did not enjoy absolute immunity.

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

"We are in regular communication with our Pakistani counterparts". The diplomat was later released after the Foreign Office (FO) said he enjoys diplomatic immunity.

The issue has further strained the ties between Pakistan and the U.S. which are already at odds over the issue of providing safe havens to the Taliban and the Haqqani network terror groups in Afghanistan.

According to details, a special aircraft arrived at the Nur Khan Airbase here to take the American diplomat home. Washington later suspended its security assistance to Pakistan.

The relations between the two sides have been under pressure after US President Donald Trump accused Islamabad in January of lying to the United States and offering "little help in hunting terrorists".

'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.

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.

His father had approached the Islamabad High Court to stop the diplomat from leaving the country.

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

A letter sent to the U.S. Embassy in Islamabad says the restrictions will be implemented Friday.

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