• The judicial ouster of Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani, attacks on civilians by militant groups, growing electricity shortages, and rising food and fuel prices all contributed to turbulence in Pakistan. Religious minorities – such as the Shia-Muslim Hazara community – were killed in large numbers with no one held to account. The military dominated politics in Pakistan and operated above the law. A number of terrorism suspects and the military’s opponents were forcibly disappeared. The police committed widespread abuses, including torturing criminal suspects and committing extrajudicial killings, while law enforcement broke down in the face of attacks by armed militant groups. Abuses by state security forces and militant groups worsened in mineral-rich Balochistan.
  • An infant sleeps in a cradle next to his father and siblings who are taking refuge in a camp for internally displaced persons in Bannu, Pakistan's Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province on July 1, 2014.
    The government of Pakistan should urgently address the health needs of hundreds of thousands of people displaced by the ongoing fighting in North Waziristan province.
  • Any promise of progress on human rights and security in Pakistan after elections last year has disappointed. Militant, terrorist, and sectarian attacks continue while the Pakistani government flip-flops on talks with the Taliban and serious counterterrorism abuses persist. Meanwhile, there is real uncertainty for Afghanistan as U.S. forces withdraw and the Afghan presidential election unfolds.

    Looking at a pivotal year for Pakistan and the region, experts debate the greatest threats to human rights and security, talks with the Taliban and other militant groups, and what kind of impact the United States, the international community, and civil society can have on security and human rights.

Reports

Pakistan

  • Aug 8, 2014
    Pakistan’s government should rescind the suspension of fundamental rights and the grant of military authority for law enforcement in Islamabad, Human Rights Watch said today. Powers given to the military risk misuse in the face of ongoing large-scale political protests.
  • Jul 23, 2014
  • Jul 21, 2014
    Pakistani President Mamnoon Hussain on July 11 gave Pakistani citizens a new reason to fear the country’s security forces.
  • Jul 10, 2014
    The government of Pakistan should urgently address the health needs of hundreds of thousands of people displaced by the ongoing fighting in North Waziristan province.
  • Jul 7, 2014
    The group of around 300 Shia Hazara pilgrims who had been visiting religious shrines in neighboring Iran never knew what hit them. Within minutes after they arrived at the Pakistani border town of Taftan on June 9, the heavily-armed gunmen from the Sunni Islamist militant group Jaish –ul-Islam rampaged through their hotel.
  • Jul 3, 2014
    Pakistan’s government should withdraw a counterterrorism law which threatens basic rights and freedoms in violation of Pakistan’s international legal obligations.
  • Jul 2, 2014
    At least 142 Pakistanis arrested in police sweeps in June 2014 are being detained and are at risk of deportation.
  • Jul 1, 2014
    All parties implicated in a new United Nations’ report about abuses of children during armed conflict should call an immediate halt to these crimes, Human Rights Watch said today. The UN secretary-general’s annual report on children in armed conflict was released on July 1, 2014.
  • Jun 29, 2014
    Pakistan’s government should take all necessary measures to stop Sunni extremist groups in Balochistan province from committing further killings and other abuses against Hazara and other Shia Muslims.
  • Jun 17, 2014
    The Pakistan authorities should ensure that a judicial inquiry into police shootings of rock-throwing protesters in Lahore fully and impartially investigates possible unnecessary use of lethal force.