A man who claims to be on a so-called ‘Kill List’ of people to be targeted in US strikes has appeared on national radio asking the US and UK governments not to kill him.
Malik Jalal, from Waziristan, Pakistan’s border area with Afghanistan, says he has been targeted in at least four drone strikes, narrowly missing the missiles each time.
He told BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme on Monday, he has been warned by various authorities in Waziristan he is on a “Kill List” and his children are “terrified” of dying in a missile attack.
In one attack, Malik Jalal says a car driving behind him was hit by a missile while he was out visiting another village. “I heard the explosion and the back window of my car shattered. The car behind was in flames and the passengers were in pieces,” he said.
In another incident, a friend’s house he was planning to visit for dinner was hit by a missile. “I was… about 500 metres away in my car,” he said.
On the invitation of Lord Ken MacDonald, the former Director of Prosecutions, Malik Jalal has travelled to the UK to ask parliamentarians and the government to be taken off the “Kill List”.
A tribal elder, whose role as an intermediary in settling disputes is recognised by the Pakistani government, Malik Jalal says he is being targeted due to his work with the North Waziristan Peace committee (NWPC) - a group attempting to bring peace between the Taliban and Government of Pakistan.
According to the human rights charity Reprieve, who represents Malik Jalal, Western intelligence agents believe the NWPC allows the Taliban a safe haven on Waziristan. The NWPC say they want peace for their community, their families and themselves.
In a letter addressed to Home Secretary Theresa May, who has oversight of MI5 and the NCA, and Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond, who has responsibility for GCHQ and MI6, Malik Jalal has asked for meetings to clear his name and get off the Kill List. The US Ambassador is also copied into the letter.
“I had a special role to improve security and we were making progress and that’s why I think American targeted us", Malik Jalal told the BBC. "I came close to being bombed four times, so in the end I realised they were on to me."
“I have had to leave Waziristan. In my own family there are six people who are mentally destabilised because of the strikes. In Waziristan there are more than 400,000 people who have mental problems because of the drones. My own son is too scared to go back to Waziristan.
“I have a peaceful role in Pakistan. I am not involved in terrorism. I came to Britain because I feel like Britain is like a younger brother to America. I am telling Britain that America doesn’t listen to us, so you tell them not to kill Waziristanis.”
Shahzad Akbar, Malik Jalal’s Pakistani lawyer, and Director of the Islamabad Foundation for Fundamental Rights, said: “Malik Jalal has come all the way to this country to try to speak with people about how he can get off their Kill List and try to protect his family and friends. He is willing to speak to anyone at any time in any place to convince them that this killing is both immoral and counterproductive.”
Clive Stafford Smith, Director of Reprieve, said: “It is horrifying that, in the 21st Century, we have drawn up a list of people we want to kill.
"Malik Jalal puts a very human face on the horror of this policy. If democracy means anything at all, the Prime Minister must order a full and transparent inquiry into the Kill List, starting today.”
When asked about Malik Jalal's concerns the Home Office and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office both told the Independent they do not comment on matters of intelligence.
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