Trump administration preparing to impose new restrictions on Pakistani diplomats

Islamabad Politics Monitor – The Trump administration has decided to impose new restrictions on Pakistani diplomats stationed in the US, limiting their travel movement, local media reported.

The action came after the authorities in Pakistan initiated a process to put the name of US defence and air attaché Col Joseph Emanuel Hall, who killed a youth by hitting a motorbike, on Exit Control List (ECL).

The US administration has communicated the decision to authorities concerned in Pakistan, media reported citing a senior official, adding that the recent the warning had nothing to do with the road accident by the diplomat.

The American has reportedly prepared a new code of conduct under which the Pakistani staff would have to make movement within 25-mile radius. The diplomats will need prior permission from US authorities if they want to go beyond the set limit.

The new restriction will be imposed in May, creating difficulties for Pakistani staff in doing their jobs, while one month notice in this regard has been sent to all the four consulates apart from the embassy in the US.

Under the new code of conduct, the Pakistani officials would also need to keep their accommodation within the 20-mile radius of the embassy and consulates.

On Saturday, a car carrying the American diplomat hit a motorcycle in Islamabad, killing one man, Ateeq on the spot and injuring another.

Colonel Emmanuel was driving the car when the accident took place in Islamabad on April 7. The police registered a case against the American diplomat at the Kohsar Police Station on behalf of victim’s father, Mohammed Idrees.

On Sunday, the Foreign Office on Sunday summoned American Ambassador to Pakistan David Hale to lodge a formal protest against the incident. According to a statement, the Foreign Ministry said that “justice will take its course” in accordance with local and international laws.

It said Hale expressed his sympathy and sadness over the loss of life and assured cooperation in the investigation.

On Monday, the Islamabad police sent a written request to Ministry of Interior to place the name of a US diplomat on the ECL list.

During the National Assembly’s (NA) session on Wednesday, Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif revealed that the United States (US) diplomat accused of killing a motorcyclist in an accident is still in Islamabad.

Upon being questioned by the lawmakers about the status of the case, Asif remarked that the case will be dealt with in accordance to the law and that the US embassy has affirmed cooperation to this end. He added that the investigations are ongoing.

A US Defense and Air Attache Joseph Emanuel Hall had run over a motorcyclist earlier on Saturday, killing one on spot and leaving the other severely injured.

After the accident, the police had taken Hall’s vehicle in custody of Kashar Police Station and filed a case against the diplomat.

Sources confirmed that the diplomat had immunity from being arrested under the Vienna Convention that safeguards Diplomats from local laws.

However, officials expressed concern that the Diplomat might gain assistance in running away thus they wrote to the Interior Ministry for putting Hall’s name on the Exit Control List (ECL).

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