Karim Khan, who lost his son and brother in a US drone attack some years ago had mustered courage to file a case against the CIA station director. He was due to travel to Europe this Saturday when he was picked up on February 5 by unidentified men dressed in police uniforms, according to his lawyer Shahzad Akbar, Director of the Foundation for Fundamental Rights.
Khan was to give evidence to Parliamentarians but he has not been seen since, according to his family. On Monday the Foundation for Fundamental Rights filed habeas corpus proceedings on behalf of the family before the Lahore High Court, Rawalpindi Bench. Mr. Akbar said the court admitted the petition and issued notices to the police to present Khan on February 12.
In a press statement the legal charity Reprieve which is partnering the Foundation, said Khan who is also involved in legal proceedings against the Pakistan government on the failure to investigate the deaths of his son and brother in a drone strike, was seized in the early hours at his home in Rawalpindi by 15-20 men in police uniform and plain clothes, say witnesses.
The men did not disclose their identities and no reason was given for the detention. Mr. Khan's wife and young children were present at the time, along with a neighbour. The release said that despite numerous inquiries to the police, his family has not yet to be able to locate Mr. Khan or discover why he was detained. Mr. Khan was scheduled to speak with German, Dutch and British parliamentarians about his personal experience with drone strikes and the impact such strikes are having. He was also scheduled to talk about his work as a freelance journalist investigating other strikes in the region, Reprieve said.
Mr. Khan is also involved in legal proceedings on behalf of his brother, Asif Iqbal, a teacher, and his son Zahinullah. He has filed a petition demanding the police launch a criminal investigation into the drone strike, and said it amounts to murder under domestic law. The case is expected to be heard in the Islamabad High Court on Tuesday.
Mr. Akbar said in the press release, "It is a shame that Nawaz Sharif has allowed Pakistan to be a police state, where no fundamental rights are available to its citizens. Khan is not only a victim, but an important voice for all other civilians killed and injured by US drone strikes. Why are the powers that be so scared of Kareem and his work that they felt the need to abduct him in an effort to silence his efforts? Kareem Khan deserves justice and due process and he should be freed immediately of his illegal captivity."