Minorities targeted in Pak: Amnesty
Millions of Pakistanis suffered abuses as a result of a sharp escalation in conflict between the Government and the armed forces, Amnesty International has said in its latest report.
London: Millions of Pakistanis suffered abuses as a result of a sharp escalation in conflict between the Government and the armed forces, Amnesty International has said in its latest report, which also alleged that the forces were carrying out "suspected extra-judicial executions".
The 2010 report of the rights group said Pakistani Taliban and other anti-government groups targeted civilians throughout the country, while security forces used "indiscriminate and disproportionate force and carried out suspected extra-judicial executions."
It also noted that members of religious minorities, including Hindus and Sikhs, suffered increasing abuses, including abduction, murder and harassment, and alleged that
officials failed to protect them and "adequately prosecute perpetrators."
The Taliban imposed Jizia, a tax payable by non-Muslims living under Muslim rule, on Sikhs, Hindus and Christians, or in some cases expelled them outright, it said.
In areas controlled by the Pakistani Taliban and allied armed groups, civilians faced severe abuses, including arbitrary arrest and detention, torture and other ill-treatment, a near total absence of due judicial process, stringent restrictions on freedom of expression and discrimination against women and girls.
"Violence against minorities increased, with the government failing to prevent attacks or punish perpetrators.
There were no executions, although 276 people were sentenced to death," the report said.
Referring to insurgency in FATA, NWFP and Balochistan, the report said insurgents abducted and unlawfully killed thousands of people, including tribal elders, teachers,
journalists, other professionals and internally displaced people returning to their homes.
In 87 suicide attacks in the last one year, 1,299 people were killed and 3,633 injured, many of them civilians. In the past two years, the Taliban destroyed over 200 schools
in Swat, including more than 100 girls` schools.
According to local officials, these attacks disrupted the education of more than 50,000 pupils from primary to college level.
Taliban groups set up informal Islamic "courts" in areas under their control and "tried" and punished scores of people, particularly women, accused of breaching their harsh
interpretation of Islamic law. Punishments included public floggings and executions.