Washington, Apr 12 (PTI) An American military attache at the US embassy in Islamabad, who is charged with causing the death of a Pakistani national and injuring another in a road accident, enjoys diplomatic immunity and cannot be arrested or detained, the US said today.
“The individual involved is an accredited diplomat,” a US State Department spokesperson said, responding to a question on defence air attache Col Joseph Emanuel Hall who was driving a US embassy Land Cruiser that hit a motorcycle in Islamabad on Saturday, killing the motorcyclist on the spot and injuring the pillion rider.
The US official was not arrested owing to their diplomatic immunity, however, the police took custody of the vehicle.
Islamabad Police has urged Pakistan’s interior ministry not to allow Hall 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 cooperating with the investigation.
Meanwhile, Voice of America reported that the US has not imposed any restriction on the travel of Pakistani diplomats in the country.
The 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.
This is published unedited from the PTI feed.