FIA bars U.S. diplomat from leaving Pakistan

The Pakistani authorities are claiming that they have stopped a USA diplomat to fly out of the country in a Bagram-bound plane, it has been reported.

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.

Officials in Islamabad have demanded that the USA waive Hall's diplomatic immunity in order to face trial but so far America has refused.

The officials have said that the US diplomat, Col Joseph Hall, who is serving as defense attache in the US Embassy in Islamabad, was looking to fly out of the country in a special plane which arrived in Nur Khan Air Base from Bagram airfield in Afghanistan.

A special plane, C-130, reached Noor Khan Airbase on Saturday to take along the accused diplomat, local media earlier reported, adding that the United States embassy had handed over the passport of the official to Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) immigration.

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.

As a result, a U.S. Air Force C130 flown in to Pakistan's Nur Khan air base outside Islamabad was forced to leave without him on Friday, Geo TV and the two newspapers reported. CCTV footage of the Safe City Project shows the diplomat driving a white land cruiser at a high speed and hitting the motorcycle after violating the red signal.

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 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. 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.

  • Jon Douglas