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CIA chief accused of murder over Hangu drone strike

Updated November 27, 2013
Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaf (PTI) information secretary Shireen Mazari. —File Photo
Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaf (PTI) information secretary Shireen Mazari. —File Photo

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaf (PTI) on Monday named the CIA's director and a man it said was the agency's chief in Pakistan as murder suspects over a drone strike.

The PTI has written to police over last week's attack on a seminary linked to the Haqqani militant network in Hangu district in northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.

The letter signed by PTI information secretary Shireen Mazari asked Hangu police to name CIA director John Brennan and a man they identified as the agency's Islamabad station chief as suspects for murder and “waging war against Pakistan”.

The PTI official demanded an interrogation of the CIA’s Islamabad chief and said the names of the drone’s remote pilot and others involved in the attack must be obtained.

She also requested in the letter that the interior ministry should be asked to put the CIA official on the “Exit Control List” in order to prevent him from leaving Pakistan.

It is rare for CIA operatives to be identified in public. The then-Islamabad station chief was forced to leave Pakistan in late 2010 when a Pakistani official admitted his name had been leaked.

CIA spokesman Dean Boyd would not confirm the station chief's name and declined to immediately comment, the Associated Press reported.

PTI, which leads the coalition government in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, has long campaigned against the CIA's drone campaign which the US says targets al Qaeda and Taliban militants in Pakistan.

Khan accused Washington of deliberately sabotaging fledgling efforts towards peace talks with the militants with a drone attack that killed Hakimullah Mehsud, the leader of the Pakistani Taliban, on Nov 1.

He has urged the government to halt trucks travelling through Pakistan with supplies for Nato forces in Afghanistan.

But the government has shown no appetite for the move, leaving PTI activists to take matters into their own hands.

In recent days PTI supporters armed with clubs have set up checkpoints on roads in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and forcibly searched trucks for Nato supplies.

The government criticises drone strikes as a violation of sovereignty and counterproductive to anti-terror efforts.