Members of civil society and family members of the young man killed by a United States diplomat in a road accident rallied in Islamabad on Friday, asking the government to ensure that justice is done. The rally was held near the road where 22-year-old Ateeq Baig was killed and another person was injured when the US military attaché Col Joseph Emanuel Hall allegedly ran a red light and hit his motorcycle last week. Baig’s father Mohammad Idrees took part in the rally. He said that so far, no US Embassy official had visited his home for condolences. Pakistan has already lodged a formal protest with US Ambassador David Hale, who expressed sympathy for the victims’ families and assured cooperation with the investigation.
Col Emanuel was driving a white SUV when he hit Ateeq and Raheel who were travelling on a motorbike. Ateeq died on the spot while Raheel suffered serious injuries and was shifted to a nearby hospital. Police didn’t attempt to arrest the military attaché since he holds diplomatic immunity; however, they shifted the US embassy’s vehicle to Kohsar police station. A senior police officer, however that a case had been registered for the crime and that there is no doubt that a trial will be conducted. The diplomat has immunity regarding arrest and detention, but not against trial. He said it was up to the US embassy to decide if the trial will be conducted by the local courts or those in his native country.
The embassy has issued a security alert restricting personnel movement in Islamabad.—INP