IHC orders registration of FIR against former CIA station chief

Published June 5, 2014
Islamabad High Court. -File photo
Islamabad High Court. -File photo

ISLAMABAD: Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Thursday issued an order to register a First Information Report (FIR) against Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) former station chief Jonathan Banks over deaths of civilians in US drone attacks, DawnNews reported.

Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui of IHC was hearing the petition filed by Haji Abdul Karim Khan of North Waziristan.

During the hearing, the petitioner said that drone strikes kill innocent civilians, adding that his relatives were also among the victims of these attacks.

Khan added that the drone strikes took place on the commands of the ex-CIA station chief, which implicated his direct involvement in the matter.

Justice Siddiqui while accepting Karim’s petition ordered the Secretariat police station house officer (SHO) to register an FIR against Banks.

“Today's order is a victory for all those innocent civilians that have been killed in US-led drone strikes in Pakistan,” Khan said.

“We are fighting this legal battle since 2010 and the police was reluctant to pursue our case but finally we did it, we won the war,” Mirza Shahzad Akbar, Khan's lawyer stated.

Karim had earlier requested the Secretariat police to register an FIR against Banks but they refused to do so.

Khan, a native of Mirali, North Waziristan, had earlier filed an application in the IHC in 2010, seeking registration of an FIR with the Secretariat police station in Islamabad. Khan was seeking the FIR registration against then CIA station chief Banks for the deaths of his son and a brother in a 2009 drone attack.

According to an AFP tally, 2,155 people have been killed in drone attacks since August 2008, with critics charging that the strikes cause many civilian casualties.

The last drone attack on Pakistani soil occurred on December 25, 2013, killing three suspected militants. According to media reports the strikes have been temporarily halted at the Pakistani government's request.

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