ISLAMABAD - Islamabad High Court on Monday declared illegal transferring the FIR registered against former CIA station chief at Islamabad, Jonathan Banks, from the federal capital to Fata.

A single bench of the IHC comprising Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui heard the petition and directed Islamabad police to investigate the matter. During the hearing, AG Mian Abdul Rauf appeared before the court and Mirza Shahzad Akbar represented the petitioner, Karim Khan.

Justice Siddiqui enquired from Station House Officer Nawaz Bhatti that when did the court order to register the case and then dismiss it. At this, the SHO submitted an apology. Justice Siddiqui said that it was unacceptable to run away from responsibility and it was contempt of court to send the case elsewhere despite the court orders.

The judge added that they could show annoyance towards the country’s agencies but could not dare to question the CIA and its contractors. He further said that the CIA station chief had masterminded the drone attack conspiracy while sitting in Islamabad. It is why this FIR falls under our jurisdiction, he remarked.

The judge observed that if Aimal Kasi could be taken away from here, why not the former CIA station chief could be brought back to Pakistan.

After terming the transfer of FIR as illegal, the IHC bench disposed off the matter.

It was April 7, 2015 when the same IHC bench had thrice directed Inspector General of Police (IGP) Islamabad to register an FIR against the former CIA station chief in Islamabad, Jonathan Banks, and former CIA legal counsel, John A Rizzo. Consequently, the Secretariat police registered the FIR but later, it was transferred to the Fata secretariat.

The petitioner, Karim Khan, in his application had asserted that the Secretariat police station had no authority to transfer the case. He prayed to the court to direct the police to initiate its proceedings on the basis of the FIR.

Prior to this, the IHC on June 05, 2014 had directed the police to register FIR against the former CIA officials for their alleged involvement in drone attacks in the matter of Karim Khan whose brother and a son had died in a drone strike.

The petitioner, who is a resident of North Waziristan Agency, had lost his teenage son Zahinullah and a brother Asif Iqbal who was a primary school teacher in Mirali in a drone strike on 31st December 2009 and had started legal struggle seeking accountability in 2010 and has been pursuing the case ever since.