[QODLink]
Central & South Asia

Pakistan anti-drone campaigner missing

Lawyer says Kareem Khan, who is due to testify before European parliaments, was seized by security forces.

Last updated: 10 Feb 2014 19:07
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Akbar gained prominence after disclosing the identity of the then CIA station chief in Islamabad in 2010 [EPA]

A Pakistani anti-drone campaigner, who was due to testify before European parliaments, has gone missing in the city of Rawalpindi, his lawyer said.

Kareem Khan, whose brother and teenage son were killed in a drone attack in December 2009, was picked up at his home by security forces in the early hours of February 5, Shahzad Akbar said on Monday, the Agence France Press news agency reported.

Akbar said 15 to 20 men, some wearing police uniform and others in plain clothes, seized Khan, who was the first Pakistani to sue his government over the drone attacks that resulted in the deaths of his relatives.

Khan has not been heard from since, Akbar said, accusing the country's intelligence agencies of illegal kidnapping.

"We lodged a report with the local police but they denied having picked him up," he said. "It seems to be work of the intelligence agencies."

The lawyer said no reason was given to Khan's wife and young children when he was detained.

A senior police official denied the force had arrested Khan.

"We had no 'raid' on record on that night," said the official, who requested anonymity because of the sensitivity surrounding the case.

'A crucial witness'

Khan had filed a case against the Pakistani government petitioning the court against drones strikes, arguing they constitute murder under domestic law.

The next hearing date before the Islamabad High Court is scheduled for Tuesday.

He was also due to travel to Europe on Saturday to speak with German, Dutch and British parliamentarians about his personal experience with drone strikes and the impact they are having on his country.

Akbar gained prominence after disclosing the identity of the then CIA station chief in Islamabad in 2010 in an application filed in a Pakistani court against him for his alleged role in drone strikes.

The case sparked loud criticism from Washington who accused Pakistan's intelligence agencies of leaking the name of the spy chief, who was later called back to Washington.

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.

353

Source:
AFP
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
As Western stars re-release 1980s charity hit, many Africans say it's a demeaning relic that can do more harm than good.
At least 25 tax collectors have been killed since 2012 in Mogadishu, a city awash in weapons and abject poverty.
Tokyo government claims its homeless population has hit a record low, but analysts - and the homeless - beg to differ.
3D printers can cheaply construct homes and could soon be deployed to help victims of catastrophe rebuild their lives.
Featured
Pro-Russia leaders' election in Ukraine's east shows bloody conflict is far from a peaceful resolution.
Critics challenge Canberra's move to refuse visas for West Africans in Ebola-besieged countries.
A key issue for Hispanics is the estimated 11.3 million immigrants in the US without papers who face deportation.
In 1970, only two mosques existed in the country, but now more than 200 offer sanctuary to Japan's Muslims.
Hundreds of the country's reporters eke out a living by finding news - then burying it for a price.