ISLAMABAD - Washington was ‘hardly obliged’ after US diplomat Col Joseph Hall’s flight back home as they believe they have ‘paid’ for the deal.
One official said: “They will pay compensation and are expected to grant visas to the family members of the victims, so they think they have ‘done enough’ to secure Hall’s release.”
He added: “The expected amount to be given to the victim family is $50,000. In addition, they will be granted visas to settle in the US and work there.”
On May 14, Pakistan allowed Colonel Hall to fly back home after reaching an understanding with Washington. The US diplomat was flown back to his country in a special plane via Afghanistan.
Hall was briefly arrested on April 7 after running a red light and ramming a motorcycle with his vehicle, killing a Pakistani man and wounding two others. Ateeq Baig, 22, had died on the spot. His cousin, Raheel, suffered a leg fracture and another was wounded. The police had registered a case against the American diplomat at the Kohsar police station on behalf of Baig’s father, Mohammed Idrees.
He however had to be released by police as the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, 1961 provided the diplomat immunity from criminal prosecution. The Islamabad High Court had later ruled that Colonel Hall did not have ‘absolute immunity.’ The court had also granted two weeks to the Ministry of Interior to decide over placing his name on the Exit Control List.
Originally, Pakistan had refused to allow Hall to fly back home in a special plane sent by his country over the weekend. Hall’s family was permitted to leave. But after reaching an understanding with the victim family, the authorities invoked his diplomatic immunity to let him fly.
Relations between Washington and Islamabad have been in the spotlight since US President Donald Trump’s New Year’s Day tweet, where he accused Pakistan of ‘lies and deceit.’
Amid tension, Pakistan last week issued a new travel permission regime for the American diplomats, restricting their movement and revoking undue facilities across the country.