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A tribal elder from Pakistan is in the U.K. this week in an attempt to get Britain to persuade the United States to stop trying to kill him. Malik Jalil, from the village of Waziristan on Pakistan’s border with Afghanistan, has a role as an intermediary in settling disputes. He is a member of a community devoted to trying to keep the peace in the region, and he is sanctioned by the Pakistani government.
Malik claims he has been put on a ‘kill list’ and targeted at least four times by U.S. drone strikes for his role in attempting to prevent violence between the local Taliban and the authorities.
It is not only horrific that in the 21st century, a list has been drawn up of people governments want to kill; in Pakistan, which is out of sight and out of mind, only a minority of those killed by U.S. drones are even identified. Of the 2,494 people killed since 2004, only 729 have been named. At least 1,765 victims remain nameless, according to research by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism.
Invited by Lord Ken MacDonald, the former Director of Public Prosecutions, Jalal has traveled to the U.K. to ask for the government’s help in taking him off the kill list. Writing for Stop the War, he said:
I have been warned that Americans and their allies had me and others from the Peace Committee on their Kill List. I cannot name my sources, as they would find themselves targeted for trying to save my life. But it leaves me in no doubt that I am one of the hunted.
Speaking via a translator on national radio, he recounted a number of near-misses that have convinced him he is a U.S. military target. On one occasion, he was visiting a nearby village in a people carrier when the vehicle just meters behind him was hit by a missile. As his back window shattered in the explosion, the car behind him went up in flames and the bodies of those in it were blown to pieces.
A tribal elder from Pakistan is in the U.K. this week in an attempt to get Britain to persuade the United States to stop trying to kill him.
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