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News Link • Drones

Pakistani Lawyer For Drone Strike Victims Misses Drone Conference After Visa Troubles

•, Matt Sledge
  But one man who isn't attending is Shahzad Akbar, a Pakistani lawyer for the victims of drone strikes.

The reason, Akbar told HuffPost: the State Department has yet to issue him a visa to enter the country, more than two weeks after he began speaking publicly about the problem.

He was scheduled to take part in "Life Under Drones," a Friday panel discussion at the Drones and Aerial Robotics Conference at New York University. "The United States government will not allow him to speak to you," independent journalist Madiha Tahir said at the start of the event.

The primary purpose of Akbar's scheduled visit to the U.S. this month was to allow him to serve as an interpreter in front of Congress for a client who says a U.S. drone strike killed his grandmother. Rep. Alan Grayson (D-Fla.) called on the State Department to approve Akbar's visa, but the agency has yet to act. Akbar has in the past upset American officials by outing the name of the CIA station chief in Islamabad.

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