By Syed Shoaib Hasan
BBC News, Islamabad
Men in uniform are seen kicking and hitting detainees
Pakistani soldiers are seen apparently abusing Taliban suspects in a 10-minute video which has been posted on the social networking site, Facebook.
The video would be the first clear proof of such abuse. It shows men in military uniform beating suspects as officers stand by giving instructions.
It is not clear who shot the film or where. It appears to have been made recently, perhaps in the Swat valley.
Pakistan’s army has said it needs to examine the video before commenting.
Conversations heard on the video suggest it is recent. Troops recently declared they had largely cleared the Swat valley of insurgents after a sustained offensive there.
Human rights groups have accused the military of being involved in torture and extra-judicial killings in the region.
“This is a very serious accusation,” Gen Athar Abbas, head of Pakistan army’s public relations wing, told the BBC when asked about the video.
“I cannot comment on the video till we have examined it. This will take some time as the army headquarters will have to be involved in the process.”
The footage shows an officer in Pakistani army battle uniform interrogating several suspects, some of whom are quite elderly and are presumably relatives of men being sought.
When the officer does not receive satisfactory answers, he motions with his head and soldiers rush in to punish the suspect.
They then beat him with belts, fists and what appear to be small whips. He is also kicked all over the body by soldiers wearing heavy army boots.
The suspect is heard screaming and imploring the soldiers to stop in the name of Allah, repeatedly saying he has told them all he knows.
In the video the soldiers administering the beating have to be restrained by the officer on at least two occasions.
After an initial round of punishment, the officer tells a suspect that this is “soft treatment”. Unless the suspect tells all, the officer says he will have to administer “hard punishment”.
“You don’t want me to cut off your hands and feet,” the officer says.
If confirmed, this would be the first clear proof of the Pakistani army being involved in the abuse of detainees.
The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) and other groups have accused the army of such violations during the recent Swat campaign.
The HRCP says it has also found evidence that the army is involved in extra-judicial killings in the region.
The Pakistani army has consistently denied the reports, calling them “baseless.”
But it has also said it will investigate if any solid proof emerges of its personnel being involved in such activities.
Some relevant comments: (pkpolitics, Pakistan Defence Forum)
Wajhee:comon guys!!!just put yourselves in the shoes of the soldiers…they needed vital info to take out the hideout camps of these bast*rds…so what if they kicked a bit…stop exagerating things…God damit its a WAR!!!
consider i have raped your mother/killed your father/brother…and i suddenly come in front of you what would be your reaction????sahibzada1 said:
Must not forget the innocent men, women and children who have lost lives in the hands of so called Taliban… and please recall those who were butchered by so called Talibans…Those were also Pushtons
Can anyone here suggest a better method for a Soldier (Many of whom have lost their lives in these operations) to fight the menace of terrorism……Perhaps u would find it difficult….
the way the video is released and the text added to it…. it looks a great conspiracy …..
Pakistanis Please don’t be a part of it…..
فوج کے ہاتھوں شہریوں پر تشدد جہاں نہایت ھی افسوسناک واقعہ ھے وہاں بی بی سی کی طرف سے اس وڈیو کو جاری کرنا کسی اور چیز کی طرف بھی اشارہ کرتا ھے. شہریوں پر فوج یا پولیس تشدد پاکستان میں کوئی نیا واقعہ نہیں ھے. اس سے قبل بی بی سی کو کوئی وڈیو جاری کرنے یا انسانی حقوق کی خلاف ورزیان کیوں یاد نہیں آئی؟ ابھی چند دن پہلے لاہور کے پانچ شہریوں کو ڈاکو بنا کر جعلی پولیس مقابلے میں قتل کر دیا گیا اور انسانی حقوق کے کسی چمپین کو اعتجاج تک کرنا نصیب نہ ھوا
Becharraa Jazbaati Pakistani said:
Who can forget the countless tribal khasadars and soldiers whose throats were slit by the Taliban when the army was appeasing them and signing peace treaties?..
i say the all those tribal khasadaars should be hanged along with FC and Army who let Talibaans/Extremists/Drug Barons to collect so much weapons and power over 62 yrs….that how u run a country???? u can not run a brothel this way….as many Pak Generals will tell from their own experience….
Sir respectfully i seek ur opinion if u have any suggestion for the Pak Army to fight terrorism or should it leave the innocent civilian Pushtons at the mercy of these butchers…
The point is that why Musharaff allowed these terrorists to take roots in those areas so that now Army have to sort them out like this….
Please don’t give it an ethenic colour since Pak Army is full of Pushtons and FC is entirely Pushton
Weldone our brave army, these zalimans deserve more than this. These zaliman(talibans) have killed so many civilians and policemen and our brave soliders and officers.
Peoples who are sitting in the airconditioned rooms and criticising our army, this army cleaned the gund of talibans from SWAT sacrificaing their lives. Young officers and soliders were martayred, but you have been sitting in ur rooms.
Never ever criticise our forces they are protecting our country, our bitter enemy india is doing propoganda against our forces , so u some peoples are also doing same.
If dacoo come to ur home they start killing ur bro and sisters what will you do.
I think its a coordinated effort by world powers to keep Pak Army under pressure. No doubt contents are contemptous to humanity but this along with other highlights of political scene is a very well concerted effort to maintain status quo among different power players of pakistani society. Just play with mob psychology.
shame on u, calling our brave army napak army, u indian minds are small and garbrage brains shut up. OUR ARMY IS BRAVEST ARMY IN THE WORLD .
1) The treatment meted out to these people in the video is disgustful and shockingly appalling.
2) ARMY has no business brutally torturing suspects or even convicted criminals for that matter. These poor guys are mere suspects.
1) It is extremely naive of anyone to expect all is hunky dory in areas like SWAT and FATA (where ARMY has been operating against the most ruthless adversaries who are ready to SLIT throats, let alone punch and kick, at the drop of a dime) and all laws and human rights are respected by the Law Enforcement and Military personnel when infact they aren’t respected even in the poshest and more developed parts of the country. Take a video Camera and go into your nearest Police Station in your ‘developed’ Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad and others and you would find something equally, if not more, appalling and shocking than the contents of this video.
2) The comments inserted in the video at the end do not point to someone circulating this video out of respect for human rights but the intent clearly appears to be toinflame ethnic tensions and hatered and add further fuel to a fire that’s been burning for long.
When you are operating in conditions where you have had colleagues slaughtered or blown to bits in suicide/rocket attacks; respect for ‘human rights’, which hardly exists in rest of the country, become a little irrelevant.
Pak ARMY Zindabad
My Pukhtoon brothers Zindabad!
Tit for Tat, I have seen vedio in which Talibans have cut throats of soldiers. What Army should do? though it is amazing to realize this is the same army who made those talibans.
all pansies up in this forum commenting the inhumane treatment by Pakistan Army, though it is wrong but this is what these people understand, the language of belt boot and stick.
All these people which were arrested were only on information by local individuals, they provided information to army who all were partners of Talibans and who all were supporting the talibans and even in video you can see that the local informant was standing there and pointing out army personals.
so just relax and chill , it is only the army that swat has been cleared and rest of the area will also be cleared all upto Waziristan.
these are those people who instead of fighting against american the so called Kuffars in afghanistan were slitting the throats of their own brothers of Swat.
Just relax and chill out.
Allah ka Banda said:
I think I psoted this said video on Facebook with comments,
“We should stay clear whether this clip is issued by Army, n why? To threat Talibans? Or this is something else, with same objectives as with fake fogging clip of Swati girl? Now to defame Pak Army. It happens everywhere including Guantanamo Bay Jail, but why video clip of this law n order effort only, are being issued? Why?”
So I again request you guys stay clear, and dont run after another “truck ki batti”. When army wasn’t taking action this same media and human right agencies were accusing army of supporting Talibans, and now they are criticizing their action why? They think us a foolish nation? Local police is there, they are not beating Taliban suspects becos…., army is doing this so we should appreciate this.
One can’t assure law n order by giving sweet toffees to Talibans. We guys think like mothers, while law is law, interogation is interogation, and punishment is punishment.
For me defaming Pak Army is the last step before the NWFP and Karachi controllers join hands with separatists of Balochistan, Pleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeease Thinkkkkkkkkkkk Abouttttttttttt ittttttttttttttttttttt!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I am not surprised we are same group of people who were supporting Taliban until flogging video was released and we switched sides. Then we supported Army operation until this video was released.
Pls tell me what other tools choices do our military has to get to suicide attackers, those who are attacking state machinery slitting throats. Wars are brutal HR activists and reporters can’t fight those. Let Army do their job.
I stand by Army in operation rahe e raast and support their brutal means of investigation. I wish their was an injection that ‘d force anyone to spill out anything they know. Until we have that we have to rely on these brutal interogation techniques.
I hope to see conclusive operation in Waziristan in coming days. I am not sure why people are shocked bythis video. What were there expectations everyday commanders and militants who are surrendering its thru NRO? Frankly I was expecting much brutal video an d I am sure even if its not caught in camera there must be much more brutal investigations going on as we speak.
I see here all Taliboons Shitamore, Babu, zam etc are excited by this video as if they have got conclusive evidence to turn the tide and stop operation raahe raast in Swat or Waziristan. I ‘d like to them to see throat slitting videos to refresh their memories.
Atif khan said:
People what you think Its war. Soliders are trained to kill. War is never clean and neat thats why not everyone can fight the war. Thats why you are sitting in your homes while the brave solider are fighting to keep you safe. NEVER FORGET THAT
Allah ka Banda said:
The people being interogated are not suspects, they are arrested as per information given by local people/police. They were involved in slitting throats and blasting bombs because the local people got the first hand knowledge, I am amazed by people’s views talking law n order, talking human rights like mother says my son is innocent even when he have killed a man.