Published: Mon, May 14, 2018
Culture&Arts | By Hattie Nash

Pakistan imposes restrictions on movement of U.S. diplomats

Pakistan imposes restrictions on movement of U.S. diplomats

The restrictions in Pakistan were imposed on the same day that the USA barred diplomats working at the Pakistan Embassy in Washington from travelling outside a 25-mile radius around the city without approval.

On Friday, Islamabad's High Court left it up to the government to decide whether he should be on a travel ban list, saying he didn't have absolute immunity.

Though over the years the USA has been humiliating and ridiculing Pakistan's efforts in the war on terror but it went a step further when on Saturday a U.S. military plane tried to fly out Defence Attaché Col Joseph Hall from Noor Khan airbase.

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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 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.

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.

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Tensions between the US and Pakistan have been rising over the fatal accident, which infuriated many Pakistanis and has resulted in the two countries restricting the movement of each other's remaining diplomats, Reuters reported.

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.

'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 man's father had approached the Islamabad high court to stop the diplomat from leaving the country.

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A spokesman for the United States embassy in Islamabad declined to comment on the events of Saturday. As far as Col Joseph case is concerned, the Foreign Office has already written to the US State Department for withdrawal of his immunity.

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