Drone critics want Pakistani lawyer to visit US

WASHINGTON (AP) — Critics of U.S. drone strike policy say the U.S. is blocking a Pakistani opponent of the strikes from accompanying a Pakistani teacher and his family who want to visit Congress to discuss the loss of a family member in a strike.

Shahzad Akbar, who has sued the CIA over drone attacks, planned to accompany the Pakistani teacher Rafiq ur Rehman and his family to Washington to discuss the 2012 death of the teacher’s mother.

Activist filmmaker Robert Greenwald says the State Department granted visas to the teacher’s family, but not to Akbar and the teacher won’t travel here without the lawyer accompanying him. Greenwald said the teacher “wanted to talk about what it means when your 67-year-old mother is killed by a drone.” State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf confirms Akbar’s visa application, but says decisions are confidential.

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