- ‘Tis the Season: London florist creates $4.6 million Christmas wreath
- No tailgating allowed at Super Bowl XLVIII
- Pentagon to transport African troops to Central African Republic
- Chinese man fed up with his girlfriend’s shopping jumps to his death
- Ukraine leader to talk with protesters; Washington urges caution
- Pope Francis: A nun saved my life
- Israeli P.M. Netanyahu backs out of Mandela funeral
- Elian Gonzalez makes first trip outside Cuba since custody battle
- U.S., British intelligence agents enter online sci-fi world to spy on gamers
- Sarah Palin to host the outdoors show ‘Amazing America’
Pakistani drone critic granted visa for U.S. conference
A Pakistani lawyer who is suing the CIA to stop its campaign of lethal drone attacks against top terrorists there has been granted a visa to enter the United States to publicize his case.
The decision to admit Mirza Shahzad Akbar may prove controversial.
One of his clients in the lawsuit, who says his relatives were civilian casualties of a drone strike, deliberately outed the CIA station chief in Islamabad in December 2010. The chief had to be withdrawn hurriedly.
Mr. Akbar said the visa decision came after “14 months of delay” by U.S. consular officials. He first applied last year to visit the United States to speak at a similar conference last May in Boston.
The CIA declined to comment, and a State Department official that privacy laws prohibit comment on individual cases.
“Visas are granted unless an applicant is found inadmissible in accordance with the provisions of the Immigration and Nationality Act,” the official said in an e-mail. “U.S. law does not grant authority to deny visas solely on the basis of political statements or views.”
Mr. Akbar and other critics of the drone program claim that hundreds of innocent civilians have been killed in the attacks, and say they violate international law. He has argued that the attacks are fueling extremism in Pakistan, where reports of civilian casualties have incited public anger.
“I believe the American people are good people and will want to do something to stop this unjust, counterproductive war that violates all norms of international law and human rights,” Mr. Akbar said.
U.S. officials have defended the drone program as lawful under authorities granted the CIA by the president, and say the estimates of civilian casualties produced by Mr. Akbar and his supporters are exaggerated.
© Copyright 2013 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
By Brahma Chellaney
Beijing's creeping aggression signals a challenge to U.S. presence in the Asian Pacific
- Chinese man fed up with his girlfriend's shopping jumps to his death
- CURL: Obama tells a whopper on IRS scandal
- Satanists petition for statue at Oklahoma Statehouse
- Tech companies call for an end to NSA online snooping
- Lawmakers see 'false narrative' of Obama as a terrorist fighter
- Ted Cruz sees legal landmines ahead for Obamacare
- WOLF: The president's other Obamacare lies
- Obama lied about Syrian chemical attack, 'cherry-picked' intelligence: report
- MSNBC host: Obamacare a 'wealthy white men' racist word
- Mike Shanahan says he'd like to return to Redskins
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
The world impacts us. What happens in our towns, cities, states, country and on this planet makes a difference to us.
Happiness is attainable. Morning to night. I love to teach, deal with folks that have an issue and really wish to tackle it and write.
Brazen, leading-edge, “call it like it is” columns and reporting from Ohio native, radio host and writer, Sara Marie Brenner.
White House pets gone wild!
Let it snow