Pakistani Military, Taliban, Blamed for Abuses in Northwest Region

Posted December 13th, 2012 at 12:50 am (UTC-5)
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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 International says 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.

The London-based group says its findings are based on interviews that included victims, witnesses, Pakistani authorities and armed groups in the northwest region.

The 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 has also 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.