US envoy summoned over killing of motorcyclist by diplomat's vehicle

US defence attaché runs red light, rams vehicle into motorbike of man in federal capital

Mona Khan

ISLAMABAD: The Foreign Office summoned on Sunday United States Ambassador to Pakistan David Hale to protest the killing of a young man who died after an accident involving a US defence attaché.

According to Foreign Office spokesperson, Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua recorded strong protest with the US envoy, who expressed grief over the incident and assured full cooperation from the US embassy in investigating the incident.

“Justice will take its course in accordance with the law of the land and the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, 1961," said a press release by the Foreign Office.

In a tweet posted later on Sunday, the US embassy expressed sympathy with the family of the deceased.  

The vehicle of defence attaché, Joseph Emanuel Hall, ran a red light and rammed into a motorcycle in the federal capital on Saturday afternoon, killing one man on the spot and injuring another.

Following the accident, police reached the spot and transported the diplomat’s car to the police station.

However, he ended up locking himself inside the vehicle and subsequently fled in another car.

The police, however, seized his vehicle.

A case was also registered at the Kohsar police station later the same day.

Interior Ministry seeks explanation on envoy's release

The interior ministry asked the police as to why the envoy was released. It has asked the concerned SHO to submit an explanation on the matter.

Police have also written to the foreign office asking it to clarify to what extent the official enjoys diplomatic immunity under the Vienna Convention, sources told Geo News.

A copy of the FIR registered against Hall and CCTV footage of the incident has also been sent to the foreign office.

Meanwhile, the traffic police sergeant confirmed the vehicle ran the red light.

He added that he had also advised police to carry out medical examination of the suspect to ascertain whether he was under the influence.

According to the first information report, the accident occurred to due to sheer negligence of the driver of the embassy's car.

Ateeq Baig, who was killed in the incident, was laid to rest in his native area, Tilhar, Islamabad. His cousin, Raheel, who was also on the motorbike, got critically injured and was taken to a nearby hospital.