ISPR rejects HRCP's 'mass grave' allegations

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Islamabad, Aug.19 (ANI): The Pakistan Army has rejected the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan's (HRCP) report alleging that the security forces are involved in extra-judicial killings and human rights abuses in the war ravaged Malakand Division.

Speaking in a television programme, the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Director General Major General Athar Abbas said the army has a strong chain of command and it always carries out its work in a professional manner.

"It can never respond to terror with terror and has to conduct in a professional and legal way," Major General Abbas said.

Responding to queries about the mass graves found in the Malakand Division, he said the security forces had nothing to do with it and claimed that the militants had themselves buried their associates killed in clashes during operation Reh-e-Rast.

When asked why the Taliban would bury their men in mass graves, Abbas said they had been doing so because they were in a hurry while retreating.

He said the army is ready for a full-scale investigation in the presence of independent journalists over the issue, The Dawn reports.

Speaking in the same programme, HRCP chairperson Asma Jehangir said that the commission had documented accounts of 'extra-judicial killings' by security forces and the 'mass graves' found in the Swat valley where the army was battling the Taliban.

Jehangir said a number of Swat residents had reported 'sighting mass graves in the area', including at least one in Kookarai village in Babozai tehsil and another in an area between Dewlai and Shah Dheri in Kabal tehsil. (ANI)

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