HRCP sees upturn in Swat situation
LAHORE: The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) on Thursday launched the report of a fact-finding mission to Swat, acknowledging improvement in the law and order situation in the militancy-hit region, but raising several concerns.
The fact-finding report, entitled ‘Swat: Paradise Regained?’ highlights the situation of detainees and performance of courts, expulsion of families of suspected militants from towns and reports of excesses by the security forces. Preliminary findings of the fact-finding visit had been released to the media earlier.
The report also highlights specific concerns for women and children in the region, especially their psychological needs, and the need for compensating citizens whose properties have been taken over by the security forces and those who have been ordered not to cultivate their lands as they desire.
The report notes concerns of the local population that the Taliban leadership continues to be at large and can stage a comeback once the army is withdrawn from Swat.
The HRCP team learnt that 1,000 to 2,600 individuals were in the security forces’ custody in Swat and had not been produced in any court.
“The government must increase the number of courts in the conflict-hit area to try the detained suspects in an expeditious manner and enhance the number and capacity of its investigators to increase the likelihood of perpetrators of human rights violations being brought to justice,” the report adds.