London: A British-trained Pakistani lawyer has announced that he intends to use courts in Pakistan, the UK and the United States to end the US-led drone strikes in the country’s tribal areas.
Mirza Shahzad Akbar, a Pakistan-based lawyer has filed a case against the CIA in Islamabad which resulted in the withdrawal of CIA chief from Pakistan after he was named in a lawsuit in December last year.
The case brought on behalf of Karim Khan, a journalist in Waziristan whose son and brother were killed in a drone strike in January 2009, has paved the way for scores of families to make similar claims.
“More and more families who were victims of drone strikes are coming forward looking for justice,” he said. “We want to give human identities, names and life stories to those people who until recently were just numbers, Mr. Akbar told the Independent.
Akbar was in London to announce the start of a joint legal campaign with Reprieve, the US-UK anti-death penalty charity.
The US carries out unmanned drone strikes on reportedly “high value targets” in Pakistan but the CIA has never officially acknowledged the programme.
US officials have defended the strikes as a vital tool in combating terrorism but critics point out the bombings also cause massive civilian losses.