Diplomatic Briefing

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Archive for Pakistan

Newsline: Pakistan bars US diplomat from travel over fatal crash

An American diplomat who struck a Pakistani motorcyclist in a fatal road accident earlier this month has been barred from leaving the country, pending a civil court case, Pakistani officials said. The U.S. military attaché, Col. Joseph Emanuel Hall, is accused of running a red light and killing Ateeq Baig on April 7. Hall enjoys diplomatic immunity, so he cannot be arrested or tried. But the two Pakistani officials said Baig’s family has filed a civil case against him, hoping for compensation. They said Hall’s name was added to a “black list” by the government this month. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to reporters. The U.S. embassy said it was in touch with Pakistan about the travel restrictions, without elaborating. Officials refused to disclose Hall’s location for safety and security reasons. However, Pakistani official say he has not left the country. The embassy has previously expressed condolences to Baig’s family, which this month rallied in Islamabad, demanding justice.



Newsline: US faces $1m blood money demand in Pakistan over killer diplomat

The family of a Pakistani man killed in a crash with a US defence attaché who went through a red light could demand up to $1 million in blood money. Police are trying to block Colonel Joseph Hall, who works at the US embassy, from fleeing Pakistan after his 4×4 hit a motorbike carrying two men in Islamabad. Ateeq Baig, 22, died at the scene and his cousin, Raheel Ahmed, is in a critical condition.


Newsline: Pakistani diplomat placed on wanted list by India for plotting attacks against Israeli and US embassies

India’s National Intelligence Agency (NIA) placed Pakistani diplomat Amir Zubair Siddiqui on ‘wanted’ list claiming that he was planning to “carry out terrorist attacks”. The Indian intelligence agency claimed that Siddiqui, who served as a visa counsellor at Pakistani Embassy in Colombo, “planned to carry out 2009 Mumbai-like attacks on Israeli and American embassies in India.” Two other individuals, whose identities were not revealed but were claimed to be from Pakistan, were also placed on the ‘most wanted list’ along with Siddiqui. It was further claimed that Amir “had tasked the local terror outfits to carry out attacks in Sri Lanka”. NIA also claimed to have arrested the leader of the group that was tasked by Siddiqui and that “he revealed during interrogation that he was told to attack the Israeli and US embassies”. The Indian agency has also claimed to have contacted the Interpol over the matter.


Newsline: Pakistan calls in US ambassador over embassy vehicle fatality

Pakistan on Sunday summoned the U.S. ambassador to protest a fatal traffic accident involving an American diplomatic vehicle in the capital, Islamabad, and an embassy statement said it was cooperating in the investigation. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement it had called in U.S. Ambassador David Hale to lodge a complaint over “the tragic death of the motorcyclist and serious injury to the co-rider in the traffic accident yesterday that involved a U.S. diplomat”. Few details about the accident were available and there was no word of any charges being filed. Local station Geo TV said the vehicle had collided with the motorcycle on Saturday and police had seized the embassy vehicle. Pakistan said “justice will take its course in accordance with the law of the land and the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations 1961”, indicating it recognises the U.S. official’s diplomatic immunity.


Newsline: Man killed after US Embassy car hits motorcycle in Islamabad

A man was killed after a US Embassy car collided with a motorcycle near the federal capital’s near Islamabad’s Daman-e-Koh vicinity on Saturday. The white Land Cruiser, driven by US defense air attaché hit a motorcycle around 3PM in Kohsar Police Station’s jurisdiction. Motorcyclist Ateeq Baig — resident of the city’s Tihar suburb — was killed in the accident. The US official was not arrested owing to their diplomatic immunity, however, the police took custody of the vehicle. A statement released by the US Embassy confirmed the accident. The embassy is in contact with the local authorities to probe into the incident, the statement added. Dr Muhammad Faisal, the spokesperson of Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said the matter is being investigated.


Newsline: Pakistanis in Poland protest against embassy in Warsaw over alleged misconduct

Overseas Pakistanis protested outside the Pakistan Embassy in Warsaw, Poland against ‘unprofessional’ and ‘irresponsible’ conduct of the embassy staff. The protest initiated after a staff member, identified as Mian Azeem, misbehaved with an overseas Pakistani and his Polish national wife, who claim that Azeem threatened to physically assault them. The protesters also demand suspension of a counselor, identified as Shamima Saeed, and various other members of the embassy staff. Earlier, Shamima Saeed refused to accept visa documents of the Polish woman and her daughter. The documents, however, were accepted later but no details regarding the visa issuance has been shared, said the family.


Newsline: Pakistan embassy official missing with sensitive papers in Vienna

A Pakistan embassy official in Austria went missing along with some sensitive documents, as reported by a local English daily. The army official, who was originally from Sara-i-Kharboza, was appointed as a clerk at the Pakistani embassy in Austria around five months ago. He was given a sensitive assignment by the defence ministry. The official along with the sensitive information went missing on Jan 2, according to the FIR (first investigation report). According to the wife of the missing official, however, her husband left the embassy out of his free will and will “return after five years”. Nobody in Pakistan and Vienna knows about the missing official’s whereabouts, according to the FIR. However, it states that the wife, parents and brother of the man, despite allegedly being in contact with him, were not sharing any information about him with the police. The FIR further states that it is quite possible that the missing official had “become a tool in the hands of the enemy of the country,” it stated.