Drone strike deaths: Waziristan tribesman ‘to sue CIA’

Karim Khan sent a $500 million claim for damages to US defense secretary.


Express November 30, 2010

ISLAMABAD:


A North Waziristan tribesman, whose brother and teenage son were killed in a drone strike last year, said on Monday that he would sue all those US officials supposedly in control of the predator’s operations in Pakistan.

Karim Khan, a local journalist from Mirali town of the lawless tribal district, had sent a $500 million claim for damages to the US Defence Secretary Robert Gates, CIA chief Leon Panetta and its station head in Islamabad Jonathan Banks.

Speaking to the media at the capital’s press club, Khan said he would move courts to file criminal and civil suits against these individuals if they did not respond to his claim within 14 days.

Karim lost his brother Asif Iqbal, an English teacher at a local school, when a pilotless predator fired missiles on his house and the adjacent hujra (Pukhtuns’ outhouse for guests) on December 31, 2009.

Karim lost his brother Asif Iqbal, an English teacher at a local school, when a pilotless predator fired missiles on his house and the adjacent hujra (Pukhtuns’ outhouse for guests) on December 31, 2009.

Karim Khan’s 18-year-old son, Zaheenullah, a government employee in Mirali school, was also among those who were killed in the attack.

Khan has been approaching local and American authorities stationed in Islamabad since last year to seek justice for himself and for those who have also lost the battle for their lives in drone attacks.

He told journalists that CIA Islamabad’s chief Jonathan Banks buys information from his local agents in the area to guide the drone strike.

However, he added that this information is wrong and misleading in most occasions causing the deaths of many innocent tribesmen.

The step was taken by Khan days after it was reported that US officials sought permission from the Pakistani military and political leadership to expand drone operations to Balochistan, a province where they believed the top guns of the Afghan Taliban were hiding.

Pakistan’s military and diplomatic authorities have time and again rejected the US demand of expanding its drone strikes to parts of Balochistan, including its capital Quetta.

In the past, the CIA has blamed its Pakistani counterpart, the Inter Services Intelligence (ISI), for harboring the Afghan Taliban in parts of Balochistan which border Kandahar in Afghanistan, the militia’s stronghold.

Pakistani authorities have said that an expansion of drone attacks to Balochistan would destabilise the country and may lead to tensions between Islamabad and Washington.

Published in The Express Tribune, November 30th, 2010.

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COMMENTS (5)

Shahid | 10 years ago | Reply The rogue military's game again! Tribesmen welcome drones.
Parvez Mahmud | 10 years ago | Reply Let the court wars begin.
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