Pakistan to take action against US Military Attache

Pakistan to take action against US Military Attache

*ISLAMABAD:* Foreign Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif on Wednesday said that action will be taken in accordance with law against the United States (US) air and defence attaché who recently hit and killed a motorcyclist in the federal capital.

Responding to questions of members in the National Assembly, the foreign minister said the US diplomat is still in Pakistan and the US embassy has assured full cooperation in the investigation.

Colonel Joseph Emmanuel Hall hit a motorcyclist as he jumped the traffic signal at the intersection of Margalla Road and 7th Avenue in the federal capital on Saturday. The incident killed a youth while the pillion rider received serious injuries.

The deceased was identified as 22-year-old Ateeq Baig. A resident of Talhar village in Margalla Hills, his father is employed as a security guard at a public school in Saidpur village.

In his complaint, the father of the deceased said his son and nephew were hit by a land cruiser at Daman-e-Koh Chowk on Margalla Road. The complainant said his son and nephew were crossing the intersection in accordance with traffic rules when hit by the vehicle jumping signals.

A traffic policeman posted nearby responded immediately and informed authorities. The US colonel was then taken to Kohsar police station in F-7. Officials said Hall was alone in the car at the time.

The police said in a statement issued 30 hours after the accident that they did not arrest the US diplomat because the Vienna convention provided him immunity.

According to Article 29 of Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, 1961, the person of a diplomatic agent shall be inviolable. “He shall not be liable to any form of arrest or detention. The receiving state shall treat him with due respect and shall take all appropriate steps to prevent any attack on his person, freedom or dignity.”

Earlier on Sunday, the Foreign Office summoned US Ambassador to Pakistan David Hale to record “strong protest” against the killing of the Pakistani citizen.

On Monday the Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) police requested the Federal Ministry of Interior to place the name of the US defence and air attache on the Exit Control List (ECL) to prevent him from escaping Pakistan.