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U.S. diplomat will not be allowed to leave country, Pakistan tells US

U.S. diplomat will not be allowed to leave country, Pakistan tells US

In a dramatic development in the U.S. diplomat case who crushed to death a biker in Islamabad, a special aircraft arrived at the Nur Khan Airbase on Saturday noon to take along Col. Joseph Emanuel who is facing travel restrictions after the April 7 incident.

The United States (US) sent a special aircraft on Saturday to bring back its Defence and Air Attache Col Joseph Emmanuel Hall, who had crushed a biker to death in Islamabad, however, the Pakistani government barred the American diplomat from leaving the country.

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.

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

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

The US diplomat was let go by police officials in Islamabad after the accident as the law - Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, 1961 - provided the diplomat immunity from criminal prosecution.

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A spokeswoman for the State Department confirmed the travel restrictions on Pakistani and American diplomats to the news service, but would not comment on Hall's situation.

The restrictions were placed on the U.S. diplomats the same day Pakistani nationals working in Washington DC were ordered to stay within a 25 mile radius around the city.

US-Pakistani relations have deteriorated significantly since the beginning of the year, when Trump abruptly announced in a tweet a cutoff of military aid, which he said treated the United States with "nothing but lies and deceit" for 15 years.

'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.

Sources told The Express Tribune that officials at the airbase reached the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) to determine if the diplomat was allowed to leave the country. The permission for Col Hall to leave was not granted and the special aircraft returned to Bagram at around 4pm.

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

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