Pakistani authorities bar United States envoy involved in mishap from leaving country

Pakistani authorities bar United States envoy involved in mishap from leaving country

Pakistani authorities bar United States envoy involved in mishap from leaving country

Pakistani authorities have reportedly prevented an American diplomat involved in a deadly auto accident from leaving Pakistan after a US military plane arrived specifically to fly him out of the country.

Two US security officials said Saturday that the plane at Nur Khan air base arriving to carry USA military attache Col. Joseph Emanuel Hall out of Pakistan has returned after he failed to get clearance.

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.

In what is being dubbed as a tit-for-tat move, the Pakistan Foreign Ministry on Friday imposed travel restrictions on American diplomats in the country as similar restrictions on the movement of Pakistani diplomats in the US.

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Colonel Hall on April 7 jumped a traffic signal in Islamabad and hit a motorbike carrying two men.

The US serviceman has been placed on a travel ban "blacklist" and ordered to remain inside the country, Pakistan's Interior Ministry said.

Mohammad Idrees, Ateeq's father, had filed a petition through his counsel Shahzad Akbar for placement of the diplomat's name on ECL.

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. "We do not discuss details of diplomatic conversations", the spokeswoman said.

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Sources said that the United States diplomat wasn't present at the airbase but would reach there after being allowed to leave the country.

Since President Donald Trump took office last January, US-Pakistan relations have soured considerably, with the administration cutting $1.3 billion in annual aid to Islamabad for security purposes.

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

The U.S. State Department on Saturday confirmed the new restrictions on its employees in Pakistan but declined further comment.

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