IHC orders registration of FIR against former CIA station chief

Updated April 07, 2015

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IHC heard a petition by Karim, who is seeking an FIR against Jonathan Banks for killing his son and brother in a drone attack. — Photo courtesy: www.ihc.gov.pk
IHC heard a petition by Karim, who is seeking an FIR against Jonathan Banks for killing his son and brother in a drone attack. — Photo courtesy: www.ihc.gov.pk

ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Tuesday issued an order to register a First Information Report (FIR) against former Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) station chief Jonathan Banks over the death of two tribesmen in a US drone attack.

Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui of IHC issued the order while hearing a petition filed by Haji Abdul Karim Khan, a resident of the North Waziristan tribal region.

During today's in-camera hearing, the IHC ordered for the third time Inspector General (IG) Islamabad Tahir Alam Khan to register an FIR against former CIA station chief Jonathan Banks on a petition filed by Karim Khan, who has been seeking registration of a case against the American official for killing his son and brother in a drone attack.

IG Khan was of the view that if an FIR was registered against the former CIA station chief, Pakistan and America's diplomatic relations may suffer. He also maintained that the Foreign Office was also a party in the matter and it was important to know its stance.

However, the IHC asked IG Khan to register the FIR with Islamabad's Secretariat Police Station and submit a report to the court within two days.

Karim Khan, a native of Mirali, North Waziristan, had filed an application in the IHC in 2010, seeking registration of an FIR with the Secretariat Police Station against Banks for killing his son and a brother in a 2009 drone attack. The police station had earlier refused Karim's request to register the FIR.

He stated in the application that his brother Asif Iqbal and son Zaheenullah were killed in a drone strike in 2009 when Banks was the CIA's Islamabad station chief but no FIR had been registered against the American official so far.

In the previous two hearings of the case, the IHC had ordered IG Khan to register an FIR against Banks however, the court's order was never acted upon.

A civil judge in Islamabad had earlier dismissed Karim's application observing that since the drone attack had occurred in the Federally Administrated Tribal Areas, the Islamabad court could not assume jurisdiction in the matter.

The last drone attack on Pakistani soil occurred on Dec 24,2014, killing nine suspected militants, including a driver of Lashkar-i-Islam (LI) chief Mangal Bagh.