Pakistan court orders case against CIA drone attacks
A Pakistani High Court ordered Pakistani police to lodge a complaint against former CIA station chief Jonathan Banks on Thursday, for the killing of civilians in U.S. drone strikes along the country's northwestern border with Afghanistan.Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui of Islamabad High Court made the order in a case filed by Karim Khan, a North Waziristan resident and an anti-drone activist whose son and brother were both killed in a drone strike in 2009.
Karim has been calling for a case to be brought against Banks since 2010 and was abducted in February, allegedly by Pakistani intelligence agencies, days before he was scheduled to appear before the EU in connection to his anti-drone campaign.
The CIA's accusation in 2010 that Pakistan's Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) had endangered their station chief's life by releasing his name caused relations between the agencies to go sour and led to Banks being withdrawn from Pakistan.
“Today is a great day for us as we have got success in our mission that we began in 2010,” Karim told reporters outside the court. “This is the victory for all those whose near and dear ones have been killed in drone attacks.”
According to international think tanks, including The New American Foundation and U.K.-based Bureau of Investigative Journalists, more than 3000 people, 70 percent of whom were civilians, have been killed in drone attacks since 2004. The last drone attack was carried out in last December in North Waziristan.
The U.S. media last week quoted unnamed Obama administration officials reporting that the CIA had abandoned its drone operations in Pakistan.
A case has been ordered against a former CIA station chief for civilian deaths in drone attacks.