Viewed from a drone, any adult male in the tribal areas can look like a target, according to Mirza Shahzad Akbar, a Pakistani lawyer who is taking on the CIA.
“A Taliban or non-Taliban would be dressed in the same way,” he said. “Everyone has a beard, a turban and an AK-47 because every person carries a weapon in that area, so anyone could be target.”
Mr Akbar is suing the CIA for compensation in the Islamabad High Court, and plans to file a Supreme Court action.
He claims the US is getting away with murder in North Waziristan. It’s a view shared by the British legal charity Reprieve, whose director, Clive Stafford Smith, has been meeting drone victims in Pakistan.
“What’s going on here, unfortunately, is murder,” he said.
“There’s a war going on in Afghanistan, but none here in Pakistan, so what the CIA is doing here is illegal.”