Diplomats license to murder

The term “diplomatic immunity” refers to a principle of international law that limits the degree to which officials and employees of governments and international organizations are subject to the authority of police officers and judges in the country of assignment. Does this mean that foreign officials are the one which give us clear definition of “Discrimination”, as is often assumed? Not quite or May be.

Diplomatic immunity is a legal cover for diplomats who provide services abroad under the Vienna Convention of 1961. History reveals that foreign messengers and diplomats have always enjoyed reciprocal immunity in the exercise of their functions. Therefore, Colonel Hall is subject to this immunity.

Apparently, Colonel Hall drove under the influence and accelerated through a red light, which caused the unfortunate accident. This echoes the case of Raymond Davis, a CIA agent of the USA. They sued suspected thieves and disrespected traffic laws, resulting in the death of two Pakistani men. Even then, the Americans had pressed for diplomatic immunity. Mr. Davis was actually an entrepreneur and not a true diplomat, and the Pakistani government had stood firm on this technicality, refusing to grant diplomatic coverage.

In Colonel Hall case the family of the deceased asks for justice. Colonel Hall remains inside the US embassy unless he has been secretly removed from the country. The Pakistani government has its hands tied behind its back, because Americans are right to claim immunity. Pakistan has so far appealed to the ambassador of the United States and expressed its official dissatisfaction (Persona Non Grunta). Local police went even further by requesting a travel ban for US diplomats while the incident was under further investigation.

For what matters, it is a black and white case. First, the CCTV video is there to see everything. This is not a very flattering video, and we cannot deny the transgressions that took place. Why was Colonel Hall driving alone and had no driver? This entire incident could have been avoided simply by having an official escort or a driver for your car, at least. Second, Colonel Hall was eligible for diplomatic immunity and took advantage of it. And that’s it.

Every year, more than 10,000 people die in drunk driving accidents on American roads. As such, drunk driving laws are very strict in the United States, And can lead to suspension of driving license, heavy fines and even time in jail. In addition, US traffic laws are very stringent, with motorists being punished not only for breaking traffic lights but also for crossing stop signs without stopping completely.

However, US diplomats feel free to participate in drunk driving on Pakistani roads. Not only that, even when they are caught in the act, with their misdeeds captured by the camera, they are still allowed to go through sublime laws such as diplomatic immunity.

The Diplomatic Enclave of Islamabad is a venerable fortress whose entrance is heavily guarded. It houses all the embassies of the first world, and it is almost impossible to enter. Even when they are going to conduct interviews to get a visa or passports are being sent, people have to board a special bus off the entrance and pick it up at the embassy of their choice. As such, the ordinary Pakistani has already repressed ill-will towards foreign diplomats, and this negativity is what is now driving the vehement street protests as well.

Under international law, diplomatic agents are entitled to the privileges and immunities associated with their status and are, therefore, exempt from both the civil and criminal jurisdiction of the receiving State. If there are some exceptions concerning private real estate and certain acts relating to private commercial activity, a diplomatic agent, under article 31 of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations of 1961, may not be prosecuted or punished by a host state, police orders and regulations ca not be enforced against him either.

Public sentiment reflects the view that US officials stationed in Pakistan have little respect for national laws.

In the current scenario, however, it seems that Pakistan probably does not use any of these approaches to hold Emmanuel responsible for his criminal imprudence. Recently, the Trump administration reduced aid and threatened to take punitive measures against Pakistan for its alleged support of the Afghan Taliban insurgency; it also managed to place Pakistan on a global terrorism watch list in June. Of the mixed reaction of the Foreign Office, it seems that Pakistan does not want to oppose

Therefore, given the reasons for many cases that have happened quickly, some suggestions are worth mentioning. First, the provisions of article 41 of the Convention should be reinterpreted diligently and strengthened as necessary, so that respect for the rule of law and the government of the host State becomes legally binding. Second, the United Nations should establish new guidelines to preserve the basic concept of diplomatic immunity, while establishing reasonable limits on who is entitled to immunity. The United States killed Ateeq, Baig, 22 years old.

From the perspective of “equality before the law”, this immunity seems very unfair not because it seeks to protect diplomats abroad with special privileges, but because it often exceeds its limits to invade the life and dignity of others. There is no doubt that the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations was indeed the pioneer. However, now is the time to review the changes based on global demands. An effort towards a revised convention would be sustainable for both the country in question and the victims. Ultimately, it is suggested that effective and pragmatic policies be designed to ensure the integration of a robust dispute resolution mechanism within the framework of the Vienna Conventions.

The solution and the prevention of this crisis are the same as for all the other problems that affect Pakistan: strong leadership and sustained democracy. As these two pillars merge into society, the fabric of the nation will grow stronger and inspire you with respect. Here we hope that the upcoming elections will generate strong leadership and good luck for the country

As a Muslim Country we should follow the principle of Equality as Islam is the religion of equality. We can take guidance from Quran in which Allah Almighty mentioned the solutions of all problems. In the eyes of Almighty Allah, all people are equal but they are definitely not identical in sense of abilities, potentials, ambitions, wealth and so on. Islam is the religion of peace and equality and it always spread the message of equality among Muslims because all Muslims are equal in the eyes of Almighty Allah.

 “O mankind, indeed We have created you from male and female, and have made you into nations and tribes, that you may know one another. Indeed the most honored of you in the sight of Allah is the most righteous. Indeed, Allah is Knowing and Acquainted” [Quran 49:13]


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