Pakistani authorities have barred a U.S. diplomat involved in a road accident that killed a motorcyclist in the capital Islamabad from leaving the country.
Two security officials said Saturday that the plane at Nur Khan air base arriving to carry U.S. military attaché Col. Joseph Emanuel Hall out of Pakistan has returned after he failed to get clearance. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity as they were not authorized to brief reporters.
The U.S. Embassy and Pakistan’s Foreign Office declined to comment.
Hall is accused of running a red light and killing Ateeq Baig on April 7.
Islamabad’s High Court, noting that Hall did not have full diplomatic immunity, had directed the government to decide whether to add his name to a travel ban list.
The country is a crucial link to supplying American troops fighting the Taliban in neighboring Afghanistan. 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.
Separately, Pakistan’s foreign ministry said it would apply travel restrictions to all U.S. diplomatic staff similar to those applied by Washington, according to a notification sent to the U.S. Embassy on Friday and obtained by Reuters.
U.S.-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.
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