News / Asia

Pakistan Military, Taliban Blamed for Northwest Abuses

Pakistani security forces stand guard at the site of a deadly blast by four Taliban suicide bombers in Bannu, Pakistan, December 10, 2012.Pakistani security forces stand guard at the site of a deadly blast by four Taliban suicide bombers in Bannu, Pakistan, December 10, 2012.
x
Pakistani security forces stand guard at the site of a deadly blast by four Taliban suicide bombers in Bannu, Pakistan, December 10, 2012.
Pakistani security forces stand guard at the site of a deadly blast by four Taliban suicide bombers in Bannu, Pakistan, December 10, 2012.
VOA News
An international rights group is blaming Pakistan's armed forces and the Taliban for human rights abuses, including arbitrary detentions, torture and unlawful killings in the northwestern tribal region.

In a report released Thursday, Amnesty International said millions of Pakistanis are affected by a "legal wilderness" in the region near the Afghan border.

The rights group said Pakistan's military is responsible for human rights abuses that include enforced disappearances and ill treatment of those in custody. The group says it has documented cases in which the bodies of individuals who had been arrested by the armed forces were returned to their families or reportedly dumped in tribal areas.

Amnesty Deputy Asia Pacific Director Polly Truscott told VOA it is difficult to get information on the circumstances surrounding the deaths.

"Many of the bodies that do turn up show beatings and other such torture marks. And families, often, during the times between [the detainee] being taken away and the body found - if they are found at all -- they have no idea where their loved ones are," said Truscott.

Amnesty International said the Taliban has been committing a "range of human rights abuses," including capturing and killing soldiers, and carrying out unfair "quasi-judicial proceedings" that fail to meet basic international standards for fair trials.

Truscott said a lack of justice is a significant problem in the region.

"Both the Taliban armed groups, as well as the Pakistan armed forces, are able to commit their violations with complete impunity. And one of the reasons for that is that in the tribal areas, people do not have access to the courts, while in the rest of Pakistan they do. In the tribal areas, there is no opportunity for them to complain and to ensure justice for the situation that they are facing," said Truscott.

The Pakistani military rejected the allegations, calling them "a pack of lies." The military also said the findings were part of a "sinister propaganda campaign" against the armed forces.

Amnesty International said its findings are based on interviews that included victims, witnesses, Pakistani authorities and armed groups in the northwest region.

The London-based group urged Pakistani authorities to take steps that include investigating reports of human rights violations and abuses involving both the armed forces and the Taliban. The group also has called for legal reforms in tribal areas.

The U.S. has used drone strikes to target al-Qaida and Taliban-linked militants in the northwestern region. The U.S. has said the strikes are a key tool in eliminating terrorists. However, Pakistan says the strikes are a violation of its sovereignty.

You May Like

Video Protests Continue in Ferguson, Spread to Other US Cities

Missouri officials say deployment of more than 2,000 National Guard soldiers helps curb second night of rampant arson and looting in Midwestern town More

Video Ebola, Crackdown on Illegals Hit Business in Guangzhou

Chinese city has largest community of Africans in Asia More

Video Legendary Lebanese Actress, Singer Sabah Dies at 87

Music and film diva, affectionately called 'Sabbouha' by millions of her fans, performed at Carnegie Hall in New York, Royal Albert Hall in London, Olympia in Paris, Sydney Opera House in Sydney More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Changei
X
November 24, 2014 10:09 PM
Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Change

Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Mali Attempts to Shut Down Ebola Transmission Chain

Senegal and Nigeria were able to stop small Ebola outbreaks by closely monitoring those who had contact with the sick person and quickly isolating anyone with symptoms. Mali is now scrambling to do the same. VOA’s Anne Look reports from Mali on what the country is doing to shut down the chain of transmission.
Video

Video Ukraine Marks Anniversary of Deadly 1930s Famine

During a commemoration for millions who died of starvation in Ukraine in the early 1930s, President Petro Poroshenko lashed out at Soviet-era totalitarianism for causing the deaths and accused today’s Russian-backed rebels in the east of using similar tactics. VOA’s Daniel Shearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests at a Crossroads

New public opinion polls in Hong Kong indicate declining support for pro-democracy demonstrations after weeks of street protests. VOA’s Bill Ide in Guangzhou and Pros Laput in Hong Kong spoke with protesters and observers about whether demonstrators have been too aggressive in pushing for change.
Video

Video US Immigration Relief Imminent for Mixed-Status Families

Tens of thousands of undocumented immigrants in the Washington, D.C., area may benefit from a controversial presidential order announced this week. It's not a path to citizenship, as some activists hoped. But it will allow more immigrants who arrived as children or who have citizen children, to avoid deportation and work legally. VOA's Victoria Macchi talks with one young man who benefited from an earlier presidential order, and whose parents may now benefit after years of living in fear.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid