Pakistan blocks U.S. diplomat from leaving country

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

US diplomat involved in hit-and-run case barred from leaving Pakistan

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.

Colonel Hall is accused of involvement in a road accident in which his auto ran a red light and killed a motorcyclist named Ateeq Baig in the capital, Islamabad, on April 7. Just Friday, we saw the Foreign Office in a tit for tat move imposed reciprocal travel restrictions on American diplomats after the same were slapped by Washington on Pakistani diplomats.

According to the USA decision, Pakistani diplomats, at the embassy in Washington and four consulates in New York, Los Angeles, Texas and Chicago, will need to stay within 25 miles (40-kms) of the city of their posting.

The issue has further strained ties between Pakistan and US. Pakistan officials have demanded the United States waive his diplomatic immunity so that he can face a criminal trial, but American officials have refused. "We do not discuss details of diplomatic conversations", the spokeswoman said.

It also ordered the government to decide about adding his name to the Exit Control List, which controls the movement of people wanted by courts or those involved in corruption.

US-Pakistan relations have worsened since January, when the Trump administration announced it had suspended almost all of the $1.3 billion in annual security aid given to Pakistan.

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.

'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 father of man killed in the accident, Idris Baig, said in a recent interview that Col. Hall must face justice in Pakistan and was satisfied to see the authorities had not let him leave the country.

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

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

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