US calls Pak's human rights record 'poor'

A report brought out by the State Dept claims Pak's progress on democratisation is limited.

india Updated: Mar 09, 2006 14:45 IST

The United States has criticised Pakistan's human rights record, calling it "poor" and claimed that progress on democratisation was "limited".

The annual progress report brought out by the State Department said, "Pakistan's human rights record continued to be poor, despite President Musharraf's stated commitment to democratic transition and enlightened moderation.

Restrictions remained on freedom of movement, expression, association, and religion. Progress on democratisation was limited."

It alleged that Pakistani security forces were engaged in widespread torture, arbitrary arrests and extra-judicial killings with the government making little attempt to put an end to such practices.

"The security forces committed extra-judicial killings, violations of due process, arbitrary arrest, and torture. Corruption was pervasive throughout the government and police forces, and the government made little attempt to combat the problem. Security force officials who committed human rights abuses generally enjoyed de facto legal impunity," the report said.

Pointing to electoral malpractices, the report observed, "During elections for local governments in 2005, international and domestic observers found serious flaws, including interference by political parties, which affected the outcome of the vote in parts of the country."

"Police detained approximately 10,000 Pakistan People's Party activists in April prior to the arrival for a rally of Benazir Bhutto's husband, Asif Ali Zardari," it added.

First Published: Mar 09, 2006 11:22 IST