US to cut aid to Pak Army units over abuse: Report

The military units are suspected of being involved in human rights abuses.

Last Updated: Oct 22, 2010, 12:52 PM IST

Washington: The United States intends to cut off aid to about a half-dozen Pakistani Army units believed to have killed civilians and unarmed prisoners, The New York Times reported late on Thursday.

If confirmed, the decision would represent an extraordinary censure of the Pakistani military just as President Barack Obama`s administration seeks greater action from Islamabad in tackling Taliban safe havens.

The Times said the United States has not told Pakistan of the decision, even though senior Pakistani and military officials are in Washington for a series of meetings.

It quoted an unnamed US official saying there was "a lot of concern about not embarrassing" the Pakistani military.

US officials this year have repeatedly raised questions with Islamabad about allegations of extra-judicial killings by the Pakistani military, an important ally in the American-led battle against the Taliban and al Qaeda militants.

Last month, Washington asked Pakistan for information about an Internet video purporting to show Pakistani troops, lined up in a firing squad, shooting bound and blindfolded young men in traditional clothing.

US law forbids funding foreign military units that are singled out for gross human rights violations.

Human Rights Watch said it briefed US State Department and congressional officials earlier this year about evidence of more than 200 summary executions of suspected Taliban sympathisers.

Those killings were said to have taken place in the Swat Valley, home to about 1.3 million people and the site of a Pakistani military operation last year to take back the former Taliban stronghold.

Bureau Report