Events of 2012
Pakistan had a turbulent year in 2012, with the judicial ouster of Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani, attacks on civilians by militant groups, growing electricity shortages, rising food and fuel prices, and continuing political dominance of the military, which operates with almost complete impunity. Religious minorities continued to face insecurity and persecution as the government failed to provide protection to those threatened or to hold extremists accountable. Islamist militant groups continued to target and kill Shia Muslims—particularly from the Hazara community—with impunity. In September, the southwestern province of Balochistan experienced massive flooding for the third year running, displacing some 700,000 people.
Ongoing rights concerns included the breakdown of law enforcement in the face of terror attacks, continuing abuses across Balochistan, ongoing torture and ill-treatment of criminal suspects, and unresolved enforced disappearances of terrorism suspects and opponents of the military. Abuses by Pakistani police, including extrajudicial killings, also continued to be reported throughout the country in 2012.
Relations between Pakistan and the United States —Pakistan’s most significant ally and its largest donor of development and military aid—remained tense for much of the year due to the “Salala Attack” in November 2011, in which US forces killed 24 Pakistani … Read moreRead more
Attacks on Religious Minorities Surge, Judiciary Takes Political Decisions
(Islamabad) – Pakistan’s government has failed to act against abuses by the security and intelligence agencies, which continued to allow extremist groups to attack religious minorities, Human Rights Watch said today in its World Report 2013. The authorities did little to address attacks against journalists and human rights defenders, and committed serious abuses in counter-terrorism operations.
In its 665-page report, Human Rights Watch assessed progress on human rights during the past year in more than 90 countries, including an analysis of the aftermath of the Arab Spring.
“Pakistan’s human rights crisis worsened markedly in 2012 with religious minorities bearing the brunt of killings and repression,” said Ali Dayan Hasan, Pakistan director at Human Rights Watch. “While the military continued to perpetrate abuses with impunity in Balochistan and beyond, Sunni extremists killed hundreds of Shia Muslims and the Taliban attacked schools, students, and teachers.”
Human Rights Watch documented a sharp escalation in persecution of religious minorities in 2012. At least eight journalists were killed in Pakistan in 2012, including four in May alone. No one was held accountable in any of these cases. Media coverage of alleged abuses by … Read moreRead more
Armed groups continued to carry out targeted attacks against civilians, including government employees, which resulted in hundreds of casualties. Security forces, particularly paramilitary Rangers in Karachi, committed human rights violations with almost total impunity. Executions continued, often after unfair trials. State and non-state actors discriminated against religious minorities. Despite a new law in Punjab to protect women from violence, so-called “honour” crimes continued to be reported. Human rights defenders and media workers experienced threats, harassment and abuse from security forces and armed groups. Minorities continued to face discrimination across a range of economic and social rights. Access to quality health care, particularly for poor and rural women, remained limited.
Operation Zarb-e-Azb, the Pakistan military’s offensive against non-state armed groups that started in June 2014, continued in North Waziristan and Khyber tribal agency. Significant levels of armed conflict and political violence continued, in particular in the provinces of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), Balochistan and Sindh.
The National Commission for Human Rights, set up in May 2015, continued to lack sufficient staff and other resources, despite its budget finally being approved by Parliament. Concerns remained about the Commission’s limited mandate with regard to investigation of … Read moreRead more
23 February 2011, 00:00 UTC
The Pakistan government must immediately provide accountability for the alarming number of killings and abductions in Balochistan attributed to government forces in recent months, Amnesty International said today.
Amnesty International also called on Baloch armed groups to avoid attacks that target or endanger civilians, in the face of escalating attacks on government workers and non-Baloch residents of the province.
In the last four months, at least 90 Baloch activists, teachers, journalists and lawyers have disappeared or been murdered, many in ‘kill and dump’ operations, according to information compiled by Amnesty International. Their bullet-ridden bodies, most bearing torture marks, have been recovered across Balochistan.
“Since October, every month has seen an increase in the cases of alleged disappearances and unlawful killings,” said Sam Zarifi, Amnesty International’s Asia-Pacific Director. “These atrocities are carried out with flagrant impunity. Credible investigations into these incidents – resulting in prosecutions – are absolutely necessary to establish some trust between the Baloch people and the Pakistan government.”
The victims’ relatives and Baloch groups blame the ‘kill and dump’ incidents on Pakistani security forces, particularly the Frontier Corps and intelligence agencies. Many of the victims were abducted by uniformed Frontier Corps soldiers, often … Read moreRead more