Abuses very common in PoK: US rights group

The HRW reported a significant reduction in the terrorist activities in J&K, in its 171-page report on PoK.

india Updated: Sep 21, 2006 23:24 IST

A US-based human rights group on Thursday, accused Pakistani security forces of using torture and other rights abuses in Pakistan's part of Kashmir.

"Most incidents of politically motivated torture recorded by Human Rights Watch involved the ISI, or the police acting on the military's behalf," Human Rights Watch (HRW) said in a report, referring to the military's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI).

HRW issued a similar report on J&K last week in which, it said that rights abuses continued there unchecked. In the 71-page report on PoK, HRW noted that there had been a reduction in infiltration ofterrorists into J&K, but it was still taking place.

"Most of those interviewed were of the view that though the level of infiltration had decreased substantially since 2004, there have been no indications that the Pakistani military or terror groups had decided to abandon infiltration as policy."

The report said the Pakistani military still maintained a close relationship with the terror groups in Kashmir. It said last year's devastating earthquake in the region was used an "opportunity to craft a new image for the terror groups rather than as an opportunity to disband them".

Charities linked to terror groups took a high profile in relief work after the devastating earthquake that killed more than 73,000 people last October.

Pakistan's government swiftly rejected the report. "It is heavily biased and it contained factual errors," Junior Minister for Information Tariq Azeem Khan told a news conference. "We totally reject this report."

First Published: Sep 21, 2006 23:24 IST