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US defense attache leaves Pakistan

US Embassy's defense attache had initially been barred from leaving Pakistan over a fatal traffic accident

14.05.2018
US defense attache leaves Pakistan

By Aamir Latif

KARACHI, Pakistan

A senior U.S diplomat involved in a fatal traffic accident left Pakistan via a special plane after the Interior Ministry excluded him from its black list on Monday evening, local media reported.

Col. Joseph Hall accused of killing a Pakistani youth last month in the capital Islamabad was allowed to leave by the Interior Ministry after the U.S refused to revoke his diplomatic status -- a requirement for trying him in a Pakistani court-- local broadcaster Geo News reported quoting unnamed senior Foreign Office officials.

Hall had been barred from flying out of Pakistan on Saturday.

Richard Snelsire, a spokesman for the U.S embassy in Islamabad, did not wish to comment when contacted by Anadolu Agency.

In early April, Hall allegedly ran a red light in Islamabad killing a motorcyclist and injuring a passenger.

The Islamabad High Court on Friday ordered the Interior Ministry to put the diplomat's name on its Exit Control List. Persons on the list are prohibited from leaving Pakistan.

Diplomatic relations between the two sides have hit a low ebb since U.S. President Donald Trump took office in January last year, mainly due to a clash of interests in war-torn Afghanistan.

The two sides also imposed travel restrictions on each others’ diplomats stationed in Washington and Islamabad earlier this week putting further strain on already frosty relations between the two sides.

In August 2017, Trump accused Pakistan of providing safe havens to militants fighting U.S. forces in Afghanistan, a charge Islamabad denied.

Also, this February Pakistan was placed on a terror financing “grey list” by a global money-laundering watchdog, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), a move supported by Washington.

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