Pakistan protests after US Embassy vehicle kills motorcyclist

Sun, 2018-04-08 14:24ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry summoned US Ambassador David Hale on Sunday to register its “strong protest” against a traffic accident in Islamabad on Saturday that killed a young motorcyclist and injured his passenger.
According to an official statement, it was clearly communicated to Hale that “justice will take its course in accordance with the law of the land and the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations 1961.”
The accident happened when a white armored Toyota Land Cruiser belonging to the embassy jumped a red light and collided with the motorcycle, said police official Riaz Tanoli.
“The vehicle is in our custody, but its driver has been handed over to embassy staff due to his diplomatic status,” Tanoli told Arab News.

Motorcyclist Ateeq Baig who was killed in the accident. (Photo courtesy: social media)

The driver has been identified as Defense and Air Attaché Col. Joseph Emanuel Hall. Police officials say he was the only person in the vehicle at the time of the collision. He was escorted to a police station but refused to step out of the vehicle.
The two motorcyclists were rushed to a nearby government-run hospital. Ateeq Baig, 22, succumbed to his injuries and was pronounced dead. 
The U.S. Embassy expresses its deep sympathy to the family of the deceased and those injured in a tragic traffic accident involving a U.S. Embassy vehicle on Saturday. Embassy officials are cooperating with local authorities who are investigating the accident.
— US Embassy Islamabad (@usembislamabad) April 8, 2018
The passenger was released from medical care after treatment for a fractured leg and other non-fatal injuries, said Tariq, the investigating officer.
CCTV video of the incident clearly shows Hall jumping a red light. “There are witnesses to the incident, and I have to produce them in court,” Tariq told Arab News.
Baig’s father, reportedly a security guard employed by a government school in Saidpur, has registered a case with the police against Hall, who is suspected of having been under the influence of alcohol. Police could not verify the claim.

US Embassy spokesman Richard Snelsire told Arab News: “All we’re saying at this stage is that we’re cooperating with local authorities that are investigating the traffic accident.”
Similar incidents have occurred in the past. In 2013, an employee of the Capital Development Authority was killed riding a motorcycle that was struck by a US Embassy vehicle. 
In 2011, a vehicle used by American officials in Lahore killed a man in a hit-and-run incident while trying to reach a CIA contractor, Raymond Davis, who had publically killed two Pakistani men in that city.
Main category: WorldPakistan

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