The Lahore-based Human Rights Commission of Pakistan provided a list of 249 suspected extra-judicial killings from July 30, 2009, to March 22, 2010, saying most of the bodies were found in Swat. It said independent journalists and locals widely believed security forces were behind them.
Rights Watch said the Army was targeting civilians who had voiced support for
the Taliban when they controlled Swat or were suspected of providing them food
or shelter. "People are taken away, and sometimes they turn up a few days
or weeks later having been tortured. Sometimes they disappear. Sometimes their
body is dumped with a bullet in the head," Tom Malinowski, Washington advocacy
director for Human Rights Watch, said.
reported last October that an amateur video posted on an organization called
the International Pashtuns' Association posted the video on Facebook appears to
show Pakistani troops killing six young men. The blurry video, which runs for
more than 5 minutes, shows men in Pakistani military uniforms lining up
blindfolded young men with their hands tied behind their backs before gunning
them down. The International Pashtuns' Association says that the incident took place during the military's
crackdown on the Pakistani Taliban in the Swat valley in the summer of 2009.
soldiers prepare to fire, one of them asks the commander: "One by one, or
together?" "Together" is the reply. The conversation is in Urdu,
the language used by the Pakistani military.
The authenticity of the video cannot be independently confirmed and the Pakistani government have said it was fabricated. But Human rights groups say the video fits in with "credible allegations" they have received about the conduct of Pakistani troops.
International told Al Jazeera that while it could not confirm the authenticity
of the video, but that it has "received credible reports of suspected insurgents
being summarily executed by the Pakistani security forces in Pakistan's swat
have also been a number of sightings of mass graves in the region, with notes
attached to the dead bodies, warning local people not to join the Taliban otherwise
they would meet the same fate," said Maya Pastakia, Amnesty's specialist
in Afghan and Pakistan.
killings in Pakistan
the US, a global champion of
human rights, has virtually turned a blind eye towards Pakistan's
mercenary army's grave human rights violations. Perhaps, there is a reason for
that. The US is itself
involved in extra-judicial killings in Pakistan through drone attacks.
As many as
24 people were killed in a US
drone attack in Shawal tehsil of North Waziristan
last Wednesday. A US drone fired
at last five missiles on a house situated in the Zawai Narai area, close to the
Pak-Afghan border. Wednesday's strike came two days after US missiles killed 18 people in neighboring South Waziristan. Thirteen attacks have been reported in
the tribal belt since the US
operation in Abbottabad. Since the beginning of 2011, the U.S. has
launched 37 drone strikes, killing 284 people, including women and children,
according to media reports.
United States President George W. Bush's tenure as Commander in Chief, the U.S. military initiated unmanned aerial
vehicles, otherwise known as drones, to carry out attacks against militants in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Since entering office in
2009, President Barack Obama has escalated drone attacks in Pakistan. According to New America Foundation drone
database 248 strikes were launched in northwest Pakistan, including 37 in 2011,
from 2004 to the present.
What is the
end result of extra-judicial killings through drone attacks? The Times London
reported in March 2010, US drone strikes in Pakistan tribal areas boost support
for Taleban. The Times said: "Drones are the Obama Administration's weapon of
choice for killing militants in the tribal areas. The pilotless Reapers and
Predators have chalked up a long list of insurgent deaths, accounting for
scores of leaders from al-Qaeda and the Taleban since their deployment in
2004. The effects of the campaign,
however, are beginning to veer dramatically off course as the strikes
intensify, according to tribesmen. "Before the drone attacks began the Taleban
weren't so obvious among us and the militancy wasn't as strong," Amir said.
"But now every home in North Waziristan seems
to have one or two Taleban living in it. The youth are joining them. Feelings
against the US
and Government are rising because of the attacks. Al-Qaeda has been badly
affected by drones -- but it has benefited too."
went on to say that for Waziris and other Pashtun tribes living in the shadow
of the drones, it is not just the missiles they fear. "The Taleban have grown
increasingly convinced that spies are in the midst of the local people,
planting transmitter chips -- patray, as the locals call them -- to guide the
drones on to their targets. Although no chips have yet been discovered, after
every raid witnesses say that the Taleban react with rage, abducting, torturing
and killing anyone suspected of planting a chip."
To borrow Central Asia affairs expert Joshua Foust, the end result of this incessant drone war against militant leadership is that the leadership itself is far more radical and far less willing to negotiate an end to their insurgency than they were in 2004. While the drones could be called a stunning success in going after al Qaeda, they've also been used for years to go after the Pakistani Taliban--and in both cases the men who replaced the dead commanders were more vicious and less amenable to overtures from governments to discuss an end to the violence.
"Even within the insurgency in Northwest Pakistan, we cannot conclusively say that drones have had a major effect on operations, considering how much worse the area has gotten as strike frequency increased. (we cannot draw anything more than a correlation on this front). Al Qaeda's expeditionary reach may have been curtailed, but it seems to have been at the cost of vast swaths of Pakistan" and even Afghanistan. Have we been shooting ourselves in the foot," Joshua concludes.