Anti-drone campaigner Karim Khan, whose son was killed in a US drone strike in North Waziristan, has accused Islamabad police of using ‘delaying tactics’ in registering murder cases against two former CIA station chiefs posted in Pakistan, despite a court order.
The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Thursday ordered the registration of a criminal case for offences of murder, conspiracy, and waging war against Pakistan and offences under the provisions of a terrorism law against the two US intelligence officials.
Karim, a resident of North Waziristan Agency, lost his teenage son Zahinullah and brother Asif Iqbal in an December 2009 drone strike.
His lawyer, Mirza Shahzad Akbar, said on Saturday that officials at the Secretariat Police Station have not registered the case yet despite the lapse of three days since the court gave its order.
“I personally visited the police station on Saturday and stayed for nearly two hours, but the police said the case has not been registered yet … this is a clear violation of the court’s order,” Akbar told The Express Tribune. He was accompanied by Karim, who also criticised the police for their refusal to register the case.
“The SHO even avoided meeting me at the police station. He neither attended my call nor replied to text messages. The police officer on duty and other inspectors told me that no case has yet been registered and the SHO is involved in consultations with the seniors,” the lawyer said.
When contacted, a police officer at the Secretariat Police Station said the SHO has been seeking the opinion of senior officers about the legal status of the court’s instructions.
Lawyer Akbar, however, argued the court’s order is very clear and the police are bound to register the case, adding: there is no need to get legal opinion and the police could face contempt of court.
He said Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui of IHC delivered the verdict in the presence of the SHO and he is legally bound to register the case.
Karim, who had started his legal struggle to get justice in 2010, told The Express Tribune on Saturday that the Islamabad police had been avoiding proceeding against the CIA officials involved in the killing for years, but they will have to implement the court’s order.
“I have agreed with the lawyer’s decision to file a contempt of court case against the Islamabad police if the case was not registered in two days,” Khan said in Islamabad after visiting the Secretariat Police Station.
He regretted that the SHO and the duty officer did not meet him and his lawyer at the police station on Saturday.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 8th, 2014.