Drone victims stage sit-in outside Parliament


ISLAMABAD: The affectees of drone strikes and their relatives from North and South Waziristan staged a sit-in here on Friday in front of the Parliament House against the killings of innocent civilians.
The protesters demanded the government take immediate steps to stop drone assaults on civilians in the North and South Wazirstan that, according to them, had so far left 1,500 civilians dead.
A 14-year-old boy, Saad Ullah who lost his both legs and one eye in a drone strike, was also among the protesters that were chanting slogans against the government for allowing the US to continue with the drone attacks in the tribal areas.
Saad Ullah, who came to Islamabad on crutches to lodge protest, while talking to this scribe, said, “Would anyone help me meet the chief justice of Pakistan so that I can appeal to him to take action against those who deprived me of my both legs.”
The protesters were holding placards inscribed with various slogans against the US. Speaking on the occasion, a tribal elder, Muhammad Karim Khan, whose son and brother were killed in drone strikes in March 2009, appealed to the chief justice of Pakistan to take suo motu action against drone attacks.
“Drone attacks are not only killing innocent people but also challenging Pakistan’s sovereignty,” he observed. He said neither Pakistani authorities nor Americans were publicly acknowledging their involvement in the drone strikes.
He demanded compensation from American CIA for killing innocent people in the tribal belt. Karim Khan, through his counsel, has already issued legal notices to the US CIA chief in Islamabad and the CIA director for damages of Rs 500 million for killing his son and brother in the drone strikes. The members of civil society and politicians also visited the protest venue to express solidarity with the affectees of drone attacks.