Mehsud people fleeing Waziristan being "collectively punished" by Pak Army

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London, Oct.24 (ANI): People belonging to the Mehsud tribe in South Waziristan are having a harrowing time tackling the Pakistan Army, which has launched an all out offensive in the region against the Taliban.

After having suffered hugely under the Taliban's barbaric rule for years, civilians belonging to the Mehsud tribe finds themselves at the receiving end of the security forces apathy.

According to Amnesty International, civilian members of the Mehsud tribe, who are trying to leave the region amid the conflict, are being 'unfairly harassed' by troops suspicious that extremists may be hiding among the refugees.

"Mehsud tribes people, including women and children, are being punished on the roads as they flee simply because they belong to the wrong tribe," The Independent quoted Sam Zarifi, Amnesty's Asia-Pacific Director, as saying.

"This could amount to collective punishment, which is absolutely prohibited under international law," Zarifi added.

One of the member of the tribe, while talking to a representative of Amnesty, revealed his horrific experience while he was fleeing the war ravaged region, where the military is fighting an estimated 10,000-strongTaliban army.

He said people are unable to reach to their relatives in neighbouring regions because of the fear of the Army.

"We are not allowed to use the roads; the army does not allow any Mehsud to come to the road and use it," the newspaper quoted the tribal man, who tried to escape with his family on donkeys, as saying.

He said people are being unnecessarily harassed and are left in lurch searching for food and other daily consumables by the security forces.

"When we left our homes we took some food which we used the first two days and after that we had nothing at all and whatever was left we gave to the children. We drank only tea and water," he added. (ANI)

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