Imran Khan: Tough stand
Islamabad, Nov. 27 (AP): Imran Khan’s party, which is opposed to US drone attacks in Pakistan, today revealed what it said was the name of the top CIA spy in the country and called for him and the head of the agency to be tried for a recent missile strike.
CIA spokesman Dean Boyd would not confirm the Islamabad station chief’s name and declined to immediately comment. The Associated Press is not publishing the name given by Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) because it could not verify its authenticity.
It was the second time in recent years that Pakistanis opposed to drone strikes targeting Islamic militants have claimed to have revealed the identity of the top CIA spy in the country. The missile attacks have become an increasing source of tension between the US and Pakistan, but Washington has shown no willingness to stop them.
Shireen Mazari, the PTI information secretary, demanded that the current station chief and CIA director John Brennan should be tried for murder and waging war against Pakistan in connection with a drone strike in northwest Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province on November 21. She claimed the station chief did not enjoy diplomatic immunity.
Mazari said in a news conference that the strike on an Islamic seminary in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s Hangu district “killed and injured a large number of those present, including children”.
But Pakistani intelligence officials say the attack killed five Afghan militants, one of whom was a deputy to the leader of one of the most dangerous groups fighting American troops in Afghanistan. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorised to talk to journalists.
The Hangu district police chief, Iftikhar Ahmad, said at the time that no one was seriously wounded in the attack.
The strike was one of the first to take place outside Pakistan’s remote tribal region and outraged members of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, which controls the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government.
PTI chief Imran Khan and other Pakistani officials publicly criticise the strikes as a violation of the country’s sovereignty, although the government secretly supported some past attacks. They also say the strikes kill too many civilians.
Human rights organisations say the attacks have killed hundreds of civilians. The US rarely discusses the covert CIA drone programme in Pakistan, but officials have insisted the civilian casualty figures are much lower.
The PTI pledged on Saturday to block trucks carrying Nato troop supplies to and from Afghanistan until the U. stopped drone attacks. Protesters stopped trucks and roughed up drivers before the police intervened to stop them.