News / Asia

US Concerned Over Disappearances in Pakistan

Pakistani Shansum Nasa holds a photo of her son, Atiq ur Rehman, who disappeared in 2004, during a demonstration outside the International Committee of the Red Cross in Islamabad, Pakistan, Jul 23, 2008 (file photo)
Pakistani Shansum Nasa holds a photo of her son, Atiq ur Rehman, who disappeared in 2004, during a demonstration outside the International Committee of the Red Cross in Islamabad, Pakistan, Jul 23, 2008 (file photo)
TEXT SIZE - +

The US State Department has expressed concern about reports that thousands of political separatists have disappeared in Pakistan over the past 10 years. The New York Times says the concern has been expressed in a report the department has sent to the U.S. Congress, and it details findings from human rights groups in Pakistan.

The representative of Human Rights Watch in Pakistan, Ali Dayan Hasan, said the latest alarm in the U.S. over reports of the disappearance of captured Taliban insurgents and some of the political separatists is a very positive development. The U.S., he said, should urge Pakistan's military to stop such practices.

The State Department said it has sent a report on the disappearances to the U.S. Congress. The report urges Pakistan to address this and other human rights abuses, saying the progress so far has been very limited.

Dayan said that soon after the 9/11 terror attacks in 2001, the Bush administration urged Pakistan to capture militants linked to the Afghan Taliban and al-Qaida. Since then, he said, several human rights groups have alleged abuses in Pakistan, although Pakistan denies the charge.

"What did happen was that because the Bush administration was effectively complicit in these disappearances, the Pakistani military used that as an excuse to engage in the practice in a very broad kind of manner," said Dayan.

Dayan also said the reason for this new alarm in Washington is the Obama administration's new policies. "I am very certain that the Obama administration has a very low tolerance for this kind illegal activity and we are very pleased that they are taking this position on this very serious issue."

Human rights activists say precise numbers of disappearances are difficult to pin down because family members fear that reporting missing relatives could endanger the relatives or themselves.

In Washington, the State Department said they are talking to Pakistani officials and continue to monitor the situation closely.

In Islamabad a government official refused to comment on the newspaper report, and it has been the government's stated policy that it does not react to media reports.

The New York Times quotes the Pakistani ambassador in Washington as saying the Pakistani government and courts are investigating cases of disappearances.

Dayan says the Pakistani government will have to act now because otherwise it will feel the consequences.

"Because it is unacceptable to the international community and to the world in general and to Pakistanis for that matter," said Dayan. "We are in conversation with the Pakistani government on these and other issues both privately and in the public arena."

Dayan said his Human Rights Watch group has been urging all sides to avoid such human rights abuses. "We document abuses by the Taliban, by al-Qaida proxies, by the United States and by countries such as Pakistan. We urge all actors to adhere to international standards in the transaction of their conflicts."

Dayan said he hopes the latest alarm in Washington over this issue will help his human rights group to attract an international focus on the situation and any pressure on Pakistan from the U.S. Congress will definitely help in that.

You May Like

Algerians Vote in Presidential Election

There were few media reports of protests and clashes around the country, but so far no significant violence More

Sharks More Evolved than Previously Thought

The discovery could “profoundly affect our understanding of evolutionary history” More

Pakistan Military Asked to Protect Polio Workers

Request comes as authorities say a Taliban ban on vaccinations in 2012 and deadly attacks on anti-polio teams have prevented thousands of children from getting inoculated More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Google Buys Drone Companyi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
George Putic
April 15, 2014
In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ray Bonneville Sings the Blues and More on New CD

Singer/songwriter Ray Bonneville has released a new CD called “Easy Gone” with music that reflects his musical and personal journey from French-speaking Canada to his current home in Austin,Texas. The eclectic artist’s fan base extends from Texas to various parts of North America and Europe. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin.
Video

Video Millions Labor in Pakistan's Informal Economy

The World Bank says that in Pakistan, roughly 70 percent work in the so-called informal sector, a part of the economy that is unregulated and untaxed. VOA's Sharon Behn reports from Islamabad on how the informal sector impact's the Pakistani economy.
Video

Video Passover Celebrates Liberation from Bondage

Jewish people around the world are celebrating Passover, a commemoration of their liberation from slavery in Egypt more than 3,300 years ago. According to scripture, God helped the Jews, led by Moses, escape bondage in Egypt and cross the Red Sea into the desert. Zlatica Hoke reports that the story of the Jewish Exodus resonates with other people trying to escape slave-like conditions.
Video

Video Police Pursue Hate Crime Charges Against Kansas Shooting Suspect

Prosecutors are sifting through the evidence in the wake of Sunday’s shootings in a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri that left three people dead. A suspect in the shootings taken into custody is a white supremacist. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, he was well-known to law enforcement agencies and human rights groups alike.
Video

Video In Eastern Ukraine, Pro-unity Activists Emerge from Shadows

Amid the pro-Russian uprisings in eastern Ukraine, there is a large body of activists who support Ukrainian unity and reject Russian intervention. Their activities have remained largely underground, but they are preparing to take on their pro-Moscow opponents, as Henry Ridgwell reports from the eastern city of Donetsk.
Video

Video Basket Maker’s Skills Have World Reach

A prestigious craft show in the U.S. capital offers one-of-a-kind creations by more than 120 artists working in a variety of media. As VOA’s Julie Taboh reports from Washington, one artist lucky enough to be selected says sharing her skills with women overseas is just as significant.
Video

Video UN Report Urges Speedier Action to Avoid Climate Disaster

A new United Nations report says the world must switch from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources to control the effects of climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the report (Sunday) following a meeting of scientists and government representatives in Berlin. The comprehensive review follows two recent IPCC reports that detail the certainty of climate change, its impacts and in this most recent report what to do about it. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble has the details.
AppleAndroid