[QODLink]
Archive
Musharraf oversees 'rights abuses'
During his four-year rule, Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf has overseen serious human rights abuses, a prominent monitoring group said on Friday.
Last Modified: 11 Oct 2003 10:03 GMT
Critics say Pervez Musharraf should step down
During his four-year rule, Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf has overseen serious human rights abuses, a prominent monitoring group said on Friday.

In an open letter to Musharraf to coincide with the anniversary of his seizing power in a bloodless coup on 12 October, 1999, the New York-based Human Rights Watch (HRW) called on the president to return Pakistan to constitutional rule without delay.

The letter accused Pakistani military agencies of torturing and harassing political opponents, journalists and former government officials.

It also highlighted a surge in religious extremism and sectarian killings that HRW blamed in part on the Musharraf administration's policy of marginalising mainstream opposition political groups.

'Extremism strengthened'

"In Pakistan, the judiciary has been emasculated, political parties rendered powerless, and extremist and sectarian religious parties strengthened under Musharraf's rule," said Brad Adams, executive director of HRW's Asia Division.

"Arbitrary arrests and detentions, allegedly with the support of US authorities in Pakistan, have taken place with depressing regularity"

Brad Adams,
Executive director of HRW's Asia Division

"General Musharraf should transfer power to a legitimate government now," Adams said, adding that Pakistan's collaboration in the US war on terror had been exemplified by a disregard for due process.

"Arbitrary arrests and detentions, allegedly with the support of US authorities in Pakistan, have taken place with depressing regularity," he said.

Denounced by many in the West as a usurper and dictator when he ousted then Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in 1999, Musharraf became a close ally of the US in the wake of the 11 September, 2001 attacks, when Pakistan joined a coalition against its former allies in neighbouring Afghanistan, the Taliban.

Source:
AFP
Topics in this article
People
Country
Featured on Al Jazeera
UNHCR says hundreds of people trapped in Yaloke town risk death if they are not evacuated to safety urgently.
'Justice for All' demonstrations swell across the US over the deaths of African Americans in police encounters.
Six former Guantanamo detainees are now free in Uruguay with some hailing the decision to grant them asylum.
Disproportionately high number of Aboriginal people in prison highlights inequality and marginalisation, critics say.
Featured
Long-standing dispute over Christian use of the word 'Allah' raises concerns about a very un-Merry Christmas.
The threat posed by ISIL has prompted thousands of young Kurds to join the PKK.
Baja California - with its own grim history of disappeared people - finds a voice in the fight against violence.
Russian feminist rockers fight system holding 700,000 - the world's largest per capita prison population after the US.
Weeks of growing protests against Muslims continue in Dresden with 15,000 hitting the streets last Monday.