Pakistan bars USA diplomat involved in fatal road accident from leaving country

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A day earlier, an Islamabad court had ruled his diplomatic immunity may not apply in the April 7 traffic accident in which the United States attache's vehicle hit a motorcycle, killing the 22-year-old driver, both papers reported.

The move came a day after Pakistan said it would restrict the movements of all American diplomats in the country in response to Washington's similar restrictions on Pakistani embassy diplomats.

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.

The diplomatic tiff between the United States (US) and Pakistan is brewing up like coffee, gradual-yet-strong and perhaps tad bitter.

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. "We do not discuss details of diplomatic conversations", the spokeswoman said. Noting that Hall enjoyed diplomatic immunity, the court, however, asked the government to decide within two weeks whether or not Col Hall should be placed on the Exit Control List. 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.

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Relations were further strained when Trump stated publicly that Islamabad has "given us nothing but lies & deceit" in a tweet posted earlier this year.

"This is a development that could well develop into a full-blown crisis for relations if it's not resolved soon", said Michael Kugelman, a South Asia specialist at the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington.

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

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

Earlier on Friday, the Islamabad High Court (IHC) had ruled that US Defence and Air Attaché Colonel Emanual Joseph does not have absolute immunity.

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