First Drone Victim Family in Pakistan Plea for Compensation

The American Central Intelligence Agency claims to use smaller missiles and advanced surveillance techniques to minimize civilian casualties in its targeted killings of suspected insurgents in Pakistan’s tribal areas. CIA further claimed that technological improvements have resulted in more accurate operations that have provoked relatively little public outrage.

Notwithstanding, a reason behind little public outrage is not lesser civilian atrocities but the resource-less and voice less people of the remote and rustic North of Waziristan. They don’t have any option but to silently bury their loved ones and bear the brunt without much hue and cry.

Pakistani Man Fights CIA Over Human Rights Abuses

However, Karim Khan is different. He decided to come up with all little resources he had and open a legal front against the lone super power and its most powerful intelligence establishment CIA.

He pleaded that he approached all concerned Pakistani government quarters but did not get any justice. Therefore, he decided to adopt a legal course against the American government and the CIA chief in Islamabad Jonathan Banks.

Karim Khan is the first member of any drone victim family who came up in the media and sought legal compensation against the damages caused by the drones’ strikes in Pakistan. He issued a legal notice to the American government and demanded $500 million compensation. Karim Khan lost his 18 year old son Zain Uddin and 32 year old brother Asif Iqbal in a US drone strike at his residence.

On US drone policy, most observers including the government of Pakistan turned a blind eye. The attacks are conducted in remote areas and nobody gets any precise idea about the civilian casualties.

The Brookings Institution is one of the first mainstream think tanks to recognize the horrendously indiscriminate nature of drone attacks in Pakistan.

Brookings Institute scholar Daniel Byman wrote, “Critics correctly find many problems with this program, most of all the number of civilian casualties the strikes have incurred. Sourcing on civilian deaths is weak and the numbers are often exaggerated, but more than 600 civilians are likely to have died from the attacks. That number suggests that for every militant killed, 10 or so civilians also died.”

Earlier, his counsel Barrister Shahzad Akber announced though media that they must take up this specific issue of gross human rights violations as a model. He urged all the other drone victims to come and join the legal course against the oppressors.

Karim Khan categorically denied that his family belonged to Al-Qaeda or any other militant group.

Asia Times Despatch