American military attaché Col Joseph Emanuel Hall at the US embassy in Islamabad, who is facing charges of killing a Pakistani national and injuring other in a road accident, enjoys diplomatic immunity under the Vienna Convention, the US said today. “The individual involved is an accredited diplomat,” a State Department spokesperson said, responding to a question on Hall, who over the weekend was involved in a fatal road accident in which one Pakistani motorcyclist lost his life while the pillion rider was injured. Islamabad Police has urged the Pakistani Ministry of Interior that Hall may not be allowed to leave the country.
“In accordance with the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, the individual, like all diplomats, is immune from the criminal, civil and administrative jurisdiction of Pakistan and cannot be arrested, detained, or banned from leaving the country,” the spokesperson said. “For the safety and security of those involved, we cannot disclose the diplomat’s current location. We are in close contact with the appropriate Pakistani officials,” the spokesperson said, adding that the US embassy is co-operating with the investigation.
Meanwhile, State-run Voice of America reported that the US has not imposed any restriction on the travel of Pakistani diplomats in the US. The US State Department has confirmed via email that there are “no restrictions on travel for Pakistani diplomats in the United States”, despite reports that they will soon be subjected to new travel restrictions, VOA reported today.