Bid to fly out

THE US has no respect for Pakistani courts and laws. It had been witnessed on a number of occasions in the past including in the cases of Raymond Davis as well as Shakil Afridi. Though over the years the US has been humiliating and ridiculing Pakistan’s efforts in the war on terror but it went a step further when on Saturday a US military plane tried to fly out Defence Attaché Col Joseph Hall from Noor Khan airbase. Mr Hall was involved in a fatal accident and his case is being heard in Islamabad High Court, which the other day declared that he does not enjoy immunity. In its ruling on Friday, the IHC also granted two weeks to the Ministry of Interior to put Col Joseph’s name on Exit Control List (ECL).
At the time of the accident that claimed the life of a motorcyclist and injured his companion, the US embassy in fact had also offered full cooperation but Saturday’s act on part of the US reflects it does not value the blood of any other person except its own citizens. Any way credit goes to the Federal Investigation Agency officials who foiled Col Joseph bid to leave the country and it must also be investigated as to why and for what purpose the US military plane was allowed to land at the airbase. In fact it is the second time in the last couple of days that Pakistan has taken a bold and just stance on an issue with Washington. Just Friday, we saw the Foreign Office in a tit for tat move imposed reciprocal travel restrictions on American diplomats after the same were slapped by Washington on Pakistani diplomats. As far as Col Joseph case is concerned, the Foreign Office has already written to the US State Department for withdrawal of his immunity. In fact the matter was also discussed during the last visit of US official Alice Wells. The US must understand that their defence attaché has taken the life of an innocent person and diplomatic immunity as also observed by the IHC does not permit killing someone. The people of Pakistan and the family of victim want justice in the case and they expect that the US embassy will cooperate in the case as was promised. This case should not be allowed to ratchet up diplomatic tension rather the hot line established recently should be fully utilised to address the issues on the basis of mutual respect.

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