Pak Army rejects US human rights body’s ‘extra-judicial’ killing allegations

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

ISLAMABAD - The Pakistan Army has rubbished accusations levelled against it by a US human rights body regarding extra-judicial killings and torture in Swat, where it had launched an offensive against militants last year.

“Swat is open to journalists and you can conduct investigative reporting there. Have you seen any sort of report in Pakistani newspapers?” Pakistan Army spokesperson Major General Athar Abbas told a foreign news agency.

It may be noted that a New York based rights group- Human Rights Watch, had alleged that the security forces executed around 300 Taliban supporters and sympathizers in the area around Mingora, the capital of Swat.

A report on the alleged abuses, including torture, home demolitions and illegal detentions and disappearances, is scheduled for release this month.

The organisation’s senior South Asia analyst Ali Dayan Hasan asserted that the Pakistan Army was involved in extrajudicial killings once it gained control of the region last year.

“We can only assume it is part of the counter-terrorism effort by the security forces to shoot people in the back of the head.When the Taliban was in charge, they did the same thing. Summary execution has become a symbol of control. If you’re in control, you leave corpses around,” Hasan said.

It is not for the first that the Pakistani forces have been accused of extrajudicial killings.

The Amnesty International had reported ‘credible information’ about such executions in September, immediately following the military operation . (ANI)

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