US denies reports of travel restrictions for Pakistan diplomats
ISLAMABAD: Following Pakistan’s pursuance of a case against US diplomat who killed a motorcyclist in hit-and-run in Islamabad, it was reported that United States is now considering to impose restrictions on the movement of Pakistan diplomats in Washington. But the US State Department has denied imposing any such travel curbs.
Contrary to reports that the US might impose travel restrictions on Pakistani diplomats from May 1, the Voice of America says the US State Department confirmed via email that “no restrictions on travel for Pakistani diplomats in the United States”.
The Indian media reported that Donald Trump-administration had taken the decision after Pakistan lodged strong protest with US over killing of a Pakistani student by American military attaché in Islamabad in a road accident.
Pakistan’s embassy in Washington told VOA on Tuesday that it had received no information about such restrictions.
It was reported that if sanctions were imposed, Pakistani staffers would be allowed to travel only in 40-kilometer radius of embassy whereas formal permission would be required to travel the distance surpassing the limit, the report says.
Earlier, US Ambassador David Hale was called to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and a strong protest was lodged by Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua on the tragic death of the motorcyclist and serious injury to the co-rider in the traffic accident that involved a US diplomat.
The US Ambassador expressed his “deep sympathy and sadness over the loss of life” and assured that the embassy would fully cooperate in the investigation.
The foreign secretary conveyed that justice will take its course in accordance with the law of the land and the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations 1961.
On April 7, a motorcyclist was killed while his pillion passenger injured after being hit by a fast-moving SUV driven by US defence and air attaché Colonel Joseph Emanuel. The police released him after recording his statement.
The deceased was identified as 22-year-old Ateeq Baig, while the injured was his cousin Raheem Ahmed.
A first information report (FIR) was registered against the diplomat at Kohsar police station on the complaint of Baig’s father.
The FIR said the envoy violated a traffic signal and rammed into a motorcycle near Maraghzar Zoo at around 3 pm which caused the death of Baig and injured his cousin Ahmed.