What It's Like to Be on America's 'Kill List'

Malik Jalal describes his life, being hunted by drones
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 13, 2016 1:40 PM CDT
Pakistani tribal elder Malik Jalal, right, addresses a news conference with others to condemn the recent US drone attack in North Waziristan which killed many people, Friday, March 18, 2011 in Peshawar,...   (AP Photo/Mohammad Sajjad)

(Newser) – Malik Jalal has been targeted by drones four times, resulting in the death of many innocent bystanders and members of Jalal's own family being killed and seriously injured. He's on the "Kill List" of America and its allies, he explains in an essay for the Independent, and his life is harrowing as a result. At age 6, his son told him he feared being killed by a drone. "I tried to comfort him," Jalal writes. "I said that drones wouldn’t target children, but Hilal refused to believe me. He said that missiles had often killed children. It was then that I knew that I could not let them go on living like this." Hence, his essay and his trip to England, where he went on BBC Radio this week. His mission: Convince the US and the UK not to kill him—and to reconsider their drone strategy.

Jalal is a leader of the North Waziristan Peace Committee (NWPC), a Pakistani government-sanctioned body of community leaders attempting to keep peace between the government and the Taliban, the Independent explains. He insists that, though he is indeed an opponent of America's drone campaign, his group is a peaceful one—but, as Reprieve, the human rights charity representing him, explains, Western intelligence believes the NWPC is simply a front to create a safe haven for the Taliban. "Singling out people to assassinate, and killing nine of our innocent children for each person they target, is a crime of unspeakable proportions," Jalal writes of the US campaign. "Their policy is as foolish as it is criminal, as it radicalizes the very people we are trying to calm down." Click for his full essay. (Read more kill list stories.)

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