Fri, Jun 23, 2017 | updated 05:53 PM IST

Pakistan put to death 324 persons having no terror links: Pakistan Human Rights Commission Report

Updated: Oct 15, 2016 09:42 IST      
Pakistan put to death 324 persons having no terror links: Pakistan Human Rights Commission Report

Islamabad [Pakistan], Oct. 15 (ANI): As many as 324 people, most of them having no links to terrorism, were put to death in Pakistan, while another 8,000 prisoners stayed on death row as the 21st constitutional and corresponding amendments to the Army Act 1952, has given the military courts the jurisdiction to try all persons, including civilians and juveniles, in offences related to terrorism under military tribunals.

This grim picture of administration of justice in the country is sketched by the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) in its 2015 report that was submitted to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's government in Islamabad recently.

The commission further noted that 1,390 cases of enforced disappearance remained pending with the commission of inquiry. HRCP data suggested that at least 151 cases of disappearances were reported in Balochistan between January and November 2015.

Pakistan's new counterterrorism strategy encourages more disappearances, specifically in the province of Balochistan. The Protection of Pakistan Act (PPA) that was signed into law in late 2014 has worsened the situation. The PPA militarises the counterterrorism policy allowing security agencies to hold suspects in preventive detention for up to 90 days and detaining suspects without due process or informing their families of their whereabouts, the HRCP observed.

Reports of enforced disappearances in Karachi have increased since the Sindh Rangers have been granted powers to operate in the city under the provisions of the Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA) of 1997. Persons picked up by the Rangers have no guarantee of their fundamental rights to fair trial or due process. Rangers were given powers in Karachi, based on changes made to the Pakistan Anti-Terrorism Act in 2014, which allow them to try and investigate broad terrorism related offences in the city.

Outlining that attacks on buses and killing and abduction of passengers, restricted freedom of movement of certain ethnic and sectarian groups, the HRCP report noted that Pakistan's passport ranked one of the worst in the world to travel with, sharing a place with Somalia as the third worst passport in terms of travel restrictions.

Some 58 incidents of sectarian violence were reported from across Pakistan. Hundreds of people lost their lives and many more were injured in faith-based attacks against religious and sectarian minorities.

According to Human Rights Watch annual report on Pakistan for 2015, Violent attacks on religious minorities, fostered in part by the institutionalised discrimination of the "blasphemy laws," continued. Ongoing rights concerns in Balochistan province related to enforced disappearances, extrajudicial killings, and torture remained unaddressed. Lack of government response to continuing abuses by the security forces in Balochistan fostered a long-standing culture of impunity.

The HRCP observed that gender justice in access to education, health, economic opportunities and political empowerment continued to elude women in 2015. It noted killing of 2,108 men and seven women through police encounters across the country. Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan witnessed 10 and one percent surge, respectively, in total crime in 2015 as compared to 2014. During 2015, as monitored by HRCP, 939 women became victims of sexual violence, 279 of domestic violence. 143 women were attacked with acid or were set on fire. 833 women were kidnapped. HRCP database recorded 987 cases of honour crimes in 2015 with 1096 female victims and 88 male victims out of which at least 170 were minors. Despite the volume of cases, the rate of prosecution remained fairly low, the report says.

A total of 3,768 child abuse cases occurred during this year, a seven percent increase leading to average of ten cases a day. Out of the total number, 1,974 victims were girls and 1,794 boys and most victims fell in the age group of 11-14 years.

According to Human Rights Watch's annual report the human rights situation in Balochistan remained abysmal. Despite the May 2013 election of a civilian government, the military has retained all key decision-making functions in the southwestern province and blocked efforts by civil society organisations and media to cover ongoing violence there. Enforced disappearances linked to the security forces continued with impunity. (ANI)

Pakistan exporting terror through the border with Iran

Updated: Jun 23, 2017 17:39 IST     

Dubai (U.A.E), June 23 (ANI): Pakistan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs accepted on June 21 that the Pakistani Air Force had struck down an Iranian drone on June 19, as it flew around four kilometers inside Pakistani territory in the Panjgur sector along the Pakistan-Iran border.

Full Story >>

Grenfell Tower fire caused by faulty fridge, reveals probe

Updated: Jun 23, 2017 17:39 IST     

London [UK], June 23 (ANI): Investigation has revealed that the deadly Grenfell Tower fire, which has claimed at least 79 lives, was started by a Hotpoint fridge-freezer before spreading to the building's combustible cladding.

Full Story >>

London [UK], June 23 (ANI): Finsbury Park mosque attacker Darren Osborne has been charged with terrorism-related offences, said London police.

Full Story >>

North Korea rebuttal: Otto Warmbier's death 'a mystery'

Updated: Jun 23, 2017 15:47 IST     

New York [U.S.A.], June 23 (ANI): North Korea has dismissed accusations of torturing U.S. university student and said death of Otto Warmbier soon after his return home was "a mystery" to them as well.

Full Story >>

Iranian Vice-President Salehi warns U.S. over Saudi Arabia

Updated: Jun 23, 2017 14:55 IST     

London [U.K.], June 23 (ANI): Ali Akbar Salehi, Vice-President of Iran and the head of Iran's atomic energy organisation has warned the U.S. for supporting Saudi Arabia saying, it will upset the regional balance of power.

Full Story >>

Russia destroys ISIS Command and Control centres in Syria

Updated: Jun 23, 2017 13:22 IST     

Moscow [Russia], June 23 (ANI): Two Russian Navy frigates and a submarine has fired six Kalibr cruise missiles on Islamic State targets in Syria. Huge ISIS ammunition depot near the town of Aqerbat was destroyed by a precision strike.

Full Story >>

Washington [U.S.], June 23 (ANI):Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar is set to meet US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Friday in order to finalize the agenda ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's U.S. visit for a meeting with President Donald Trump on June 26.

Full Story >>

Washington [U.S.] , June 23 (ANI):Ahead of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to Washington, two influential U.S. Congressmen have introduced a bill revoking Pakistan's status as a major non-NATO ally (MNNA), saying Islamabad's "treachery" has led to the deaths of too many American citizens.

Full Story >>

No one in royal family wants to wear the crown: Prince Harry

Updated: Jun 23, 2017 11:16 IST     

London[U.K.], June 23 (ANI) : Prince Harry, who is the fifth in line to the British throne, has given a controversial statement that no one in the royal family really wants to take over the job of a monarch.

Full Story >>

Balochistan: 5 killed in blast near IGP office in Quetta

Updated: Jun 23, 2017 10:28 IST     

Lahore [Pakistan], June 23 (ANI): As many as five people have been killed and 14 wounded in a powerful explosion in Balochistan provincial capital Quetta, near the office of IGP on Gulistan Road early Friday.

Full Story >>

New York [U.S.], June 23 (ANI): Defiant North Korea has conducted another rocket engine test that can be used for an intercontinental ballistic missile or ICBM capable enough of reaching the U.S. mainland.

Full Story >>

Washington [U.S.], June23 (ANI): Days before Prime Minister Narendra Modi meets President Donald Trump for the first time in Washington, the State Department has said that United States is looking forward to strengthen its ties with India

Full Story >>

New York [U.S.], June 23 ANI: Former President Barack Obama on Thursday severely criticized the proposed GOP Senate health-care bill that dismantles the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare by issuing a warning saying, "this bill will do you harm."

Full Story >>

Brussels [Belgium], June 23 (ANI): The European Council has reiterated its commitment in fight against terrorism, hatred and violent extremism.

Full Story >>

Washington D.C. [United States], June 23 (ANI): Hillary Clinton's 2016 campaign chairman John Podesta is likely to be interviewed by the House intelligence committee next week.

Full Story >>

Trump reaffirms commitment to build Mexico Wall

Updated: Jun 23, 2017 05:42 IST     

New Delhi [India], June 23 (ANI): United States President Donald Trump has reaffirmed his commitment to build the Mexico Wall.

Full Story >>

Death toll in car bombing outside New Kabul Bank rises to 34

Updated: Jun 23, 2017 05:20 IST     

Kabul [Afghanistan], June 23 (ANI): The death toll in a suicide attack outside New Kabul Bank branch in Afghanistan's Lashkargah has risen to 34.

Full Story >>

Washington D.C. [United States], June 23 (ANI): Four conservative Republican senators have announced that they will not vote for the current version of GOP bill repealing ObamaCare.

Full Story >>

May vows to let EU citizens stay in UK after Brexit

Updated: Jun 23, 2017 02:48 IST     

London [UK], June 23 (ANI): British Prime Minister Theresa May has told the European Union (EU) leaders that the EU citizens, who had arrived lawfully before the Brexit, would be given a new 'settled status' allowing them to stay in Britain if they have lived here five years.

Full Story >>

Moscow [Russia], June 23 (ANI): Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has termed the attempts to exert pressure on Moscow through sanctions as 'pointless'.

Full Story >>