'Pak should immediately investigate extrajudicial executions by Army in Swat'

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New York, July 16(ANI): International non-governmental organization Human Rights Watch (HRW) has said that the Pakistani government should immediately investigate reports of summary executions, torture, and mistreatment perpetrated during counter-terrorism operations in the Swat valley.

The organization said that since September 2009, when the Pakistani military re-established control over the valley, it has received numerous credible reports of extrajudicial executions allegedly committed by soldiers operating in Swat or police acting at the behest of the military.

It has also researched alleged human rights violations in Swat based on an initial list of 238 suspicious killings provided by local sources and the independent Human Rights Commission of Pakistan.

"The Pakistani military has yet to understand that a bullet in the back of the head is simply not the way to win hearts and minds in Swat," said Ali Dayan Hasan, senior South Asia researcher at HRW.

"Killing terrorism suspects and their relatives in cold blood is vicious, illegal, and constitutes an appallingly bad counter-terrorism practice that just creates more enemies," he added.

The HRW further said that while reports of alleged summary executions linked to the military had declined in recent months, they had not ended.

"The military should investigate reported killings and send unequivocal orders down the chain of command that those responsible for such killings would be held accountable," a HRW statement said.

It also noted that since the military regained control of the Swat valley, there had been a marked improvement in the overall security situation. (ANI)

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