Wednesday, April 11, 2012
Pakistani lawyer denied U.S. visa to speak at drone conference
Shahzad Akbar represents civilian victims of drone strikes in a case filed in Pakistan. Akbar was invited to speak at an international conference on drone strikes in Washington D.C. on April 28. However the U.S. government has not so far granted him a visa.
Akbar is a co-founder of the Pakistan-based Foundation for Fundamental Rights. Akbar would have provided information about providing legal aid to civilian victims of the CIA operated strikes in the tribal areas of Pakistan.
Akbar has traveled to the U.S. in the past. However, this is not the first time the U.S. simply refused even to answer his application for a visa. Columbia University invited him to speak there about drone strikes. Akbar filed an application in May 2011 but has yet to hear anything back. He has asked the U.S. embassy in Pakistan why his application is being held up. He has received no answer.
Come on Akbar. Don't you get the message? The U.S. does not want you in the U.S. criticizing drone strikes! For more see the full article here.