Diplomatic Briefing

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Archive for Pakistan

Newsline: Dead body of Chinese national found in embassy in Pakistan

The staff at Chinese embassy here on Sunday night found a days-old dead body of a Chinese national from his room in the embassy premises, according to the police.
Counsellor Chinese Embassy in Pakistan, Shen Zicheng shifted the dead body of Yan Peng to PIMS, and told the hospital staff that it was recovered from his room after a foul smell started coming out of it. “The room was unlocked and Yan Peng was lying dead,” he told the police later. He was of the view that the deceased apparently met natural death. The deceased was working in the Embassy as a construction engineer. The body is believed to be 12 days old and the cause of death could not be ascertained. The matter was immediately brought into the notice of deputy commissioner ICT, according to the officials. The Counsellor told the Secretariat police that the deceased used to stay inside the embassy premises.



Newsline: India summons Pakistan diplomat

India summoned Pakistan’s Deputy High Commissioner Syed Haider Shah over Islamabad’s so-called Gilgit-Baltistan order, and told him that any action to alter the status of any part of the territory under his country’s forcible occupation has no legal basis. In a statement, the Ministry of External Affairs said it conveyed to Shah that the entire state of Jammu and Kashmir, which also includes the so-called ‘Gilgit-Baltistan’ areas, is an integral part of India by virtue of its accession in 1947. Through its order on Gilgit-Baltistan on May 21, Pakistan Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi has seized more authority from the local council to deal with the affairs of the region. Civil rights groups in Pakistan have criticised the order. “Any action to alter the status of any part of the territory under forcible and illegal occupation of Pakistan has no legal basis whatsoever, and is completely unacceptable. Instead of seeking to alter the status of the occupied territories, Pakistan should immediately vacate all areas under its illegal occupation,” the MEA said. The ministry said it was also conveyed to the Pakistani deputy envoy that such actions can neither hide the illegal occupation of a part of Jammu and Kashmir by Pakistan nor the grave human rights violations, exploitation and denial of freedom to the people residing in Pakistan-occupied territories.


Newsline: India court jails ex-diplomat for spying for Pakistan

An Indian diplomat convicted of passing state secrets to Pakistan’s intelligence services has been jailed for three years, her lawyer said on Sunday. Madhuri Gupta was found guilty in a New Delhi court on Friday of “spying and wrongful communication of information” while posted to the Indian embassy in Islamabad. Gupta, 61, was arrested in 2010 for allegedly passing information to the spy agency. The low-level diplomat was detained for alleged breaches of India’s official secrets act and held for two years before being released on bail. Her lawyer, Joginder Dahiya, said Gupta would appeal her sentencing in a higher court.


Newsline: Diplomat to face legal action in US after road accident in Pakistan

The United States has assured Pakistan that it will initiate criminal proceedings against its defense attaché, who was involved in a road accident in which a young Pakistani was killed in the federal capital. Pakistan has allowed Col Joseph Emmanuel Hall to leave the country quietly on Monday, prompting strong reaction from the opposition, which wanted him to be tried in local courts. The Foreign Office for the first time gave Pakistan’s official reaction on the issue. “Let me explain it. It is not that way. Diplomats enjoy immunity while serving in the country of their accreditation. In this context, Col Joseph was allowed to leave the country based on this diplomatic immunity,” Spokesperson Dr Muhammad Faisal told reporters. “The US has assured us that it will initiate criminal/administrative action against Col Joseph in US courts,” he added. Pakistan initially resisted the US demand to allow Col Joseph to leave the country as his name was placed on the ‘black list’, meaning he could not be allowed to travel without seeking prior permission from the local authorities. Islamabad had demanded from Washington to withdraw the diplomatic immunity being enjoyed by the defense attaché so that he could be tried in Pakistan. However, the US turned down the request but agreed to proceed against Col Joseph back in the states. After assurance, Pakistan finally allowed him to leave the country. There were reports that the US embassy also reached some settlement with the victim’s families.


Newsline: US diplomat involved in accident allowed to leave Pakistan

A U.S. diplomat who was allegedly involved in a traffic crash that killed a motorcyclist has left Pakistan, a U.S. State Department spokesman said Monday, two days after the diplomat reportedly was stopped from leaving the South Asian country. “We can confirm that the American diplomat who was involved in a tragic car accident on April 7 in Islamabad has departed Pakistan,” the spokesman said in an email to Reuters. The spokesman did not identify the U.S. diplomat and provided no further details . Pakistani newspapers reported that the American, identified as a military attache, was blocked Saturday from leaving Pakistan, forcing the U.S. military aircraft sent on his behalf to depart without him.


Newsline: Pakistan Prevents US Diplomat From Leaving the Country

The authorities in Pakistan barred an American diplomat involved in a fatal traffic accident from leaving the country on Saturday and briefly detained him for questioning, according to a senior Pakistani intelligence official. A United States military aircraft flown in to bring home Col. Joseph Emanuel Hall, a U.S. military attaché, had to leave without him, the intelligence official said. Pakistan’s Interior Ministry said Mr. Joseph is on a “blacklist” and is not allowed to leave because of the criminal case pending against him. Colonel Hall is accused of involvement in a road accident in which his car ran a red light and killed a motorcyclist named Ateeq Baig in the capital, Islamabad, on April 7. Pakistan officials have demanded the United States waive his diplomatic immunity so that he can face a criminal trial, but American officials have refused.

Newsline: US Embassy Officer in Pakistan Is Charged With Obstruction

The police in Pakistan have charged a United States Embassy security officer with seeking to obstruct an investigation into a car accident involving an embassy vehicle, police officials said on Monday, adding to diplomatic tensions days after an American military attaché was barred from leaving the country over a separate collision. The arrest was made after an American diplomat’s Toyota hit and injured two people on a motorcycle in Islamabad on Sunday evening, the police said. The injured people were hospitalized, and the diplomat, identified as Second Secretary Chad Rex Ausburn, was briefly detained before being released after the Foreign Ministry confirmed his diplomatic credentials. But the police said that Taimur Iqbal Pirzada, a security adviser for the American Embassy, sought to obstruct an investigation of the accident and to stop officers from taking the diplomat and his vehicle to a police station. Mr. Pirzada was charged with obstruction and with using assault or criminal force to deter a public servant from carrying out duties. He was released on bail on Monday after appearing in court. The Islamabad police also registered a case of reckless driving against the motorcycle driver, Nazakat Aslam, on Monday. A spokesman for the American Embassy in Islamabad was not available for comment. The accident over the weekend follows an episode this month that drew attention on social media as well as street protests. Pakistani officials say the American Embassy’s military attaché, Col. Joseph E. Hall, ran through a red light in an upscale Islamabad neighborhood on April 7, crashing into a motorcycle and killing a passenger. As a result, Colonel Hall has been barred from leaving Pakistan, and officials have demanded that the United States waive his diplomatic immunity so that he can face a criminal trial. American officials have refused. In 2011, a C.I.A. security officer, Raymond A. Davis, shot and killed two armed men in the eastern city of Lahore, causing a countrywide outrage. Mr. Davis was freed after the families of the victims received financial compensation.