"Let there arise out of you a band of people inviting to all that is good enjoining what is right and forbidding what is wrong; they are the ones to attain felicity".
(surah Al-Imran,ayat-104)
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User Name: Noman
Full Name: Noman Zafar
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October 1, 2010, 5:37 pm

New Video Appears to Show Abuse of Prisoners by Pakistani Soldiers

Graphic video posted on YouTube in May appears to show Pakistani soldiers beating prisoners in the country’s Swat Valley region.

Days after a Web video apparently showing members of Pakistan’s military executing prisoners came to light, another video has been discovered that appears to show soldiers beating suspected militants in Pakistan’s Swat Valley.

As my colleague Jane Perlez reported on Wednesday, the execution video had already raised concerns among American officials worried about how Pakistan’s military has been conducting its battle against militants, with the financial support of the United States.

While American officials said that video appeared to be genuine, a spokesman for the Pakistani Army, Maj. Gen. Athar Abbas, initially told The Times that it had to be fake, since, “No Pakistan Army soldier or officer has been involved in activity of this sort.” But two retired Pakistani senior army officers said they believed that the video was credible.

The next day, pressed by American officials, Pakistan’s military acknowledged that the execution video was genuine, but portrayed the killings as an isolated episode.

On Friday, a person from the Swat Valley, who wanted to remain anonymous for safety concerns, told The Times that the newly discovered video of the prisoners being beaten, which was uploaded to YouTube in May, seemed to have been shot in Khawazakhela, north of the town of Mingora.

This video, which also appears to have been shot on the type of low-resolution camera commonly found in phones appears to show in graphic detail the beating and interrogation of a suspected militant.

As the beatings are administered, men dressed in Pakistani military uniforms can be heard asking the prisoner, “Are you a Talib?” Mixed in with other questions is some laughter and the suggestion “Beat him so that he knows what beating is.”

The men in uniform question the prisoner in a mix of Urdu and Pashtun, but speak among themselves in Punjabi.

Reports of human rights abuses by Pakistan’s military in the Swat Valley are not new. Last year, The Times reported from Mingora:

Two months after the Pakistani Army wrested control of the Swat Valley from Taliban militants, a new campaign of fear has taken hold, with scores, perhaps hundreds, of bodies dumped on the streets in what human rights advocates and local residents say is the work of the military.

If the two Web video clips are authentic, they would appear to support the findings of a report by the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, which claimed that extrajudicial killings by the military are common in areas under military control.

The commission reported that 282 such killings had taken place in Pakistan’s Swat Valley since the country’s military officially ended a battle for control there in 2009. The human rights report also said other sorts of abuses were taking place and warned:

Terrorism must not be resorted to defeat terrorism. The focus of the government must be on bringing terrorists to justice through legal means, with guarantees of fair trial and due process. HRCP implores the government to ensure that the actions of security forces in the region are consistent with human rights standards.

The execution video has now been removed from the Facebook page where it was posted this week but much of the footage was included in this report by Al Jazeera on Thursday:

Last year, a military officer serving in the Swat Valley during a large-scale offensive against Taliban insurgents showed The Times photographs of suspected militants who had been executed while in custody. The officer, who insisted on anonymity, also said he had video, shot on his phone, that he did not want to share. He claimed to have recorded images of the extrajudicial killings, which he called rampant, because he opposed them and was concerned that such practices would damage the army’s struggle against militancy.

Another officer, who also wanted to remain anonymous, told The Times last year that he had refused to comply with an order from his superiors to execute a group of captives suspected of being Taliban militants.

 Reply:   May God forgive me if I am wrong!
Replied by(nrqazi) Replied on (7/Nov/2010)

I am sure many will straight away belive both these videos; here are my thoughts to the contrary: 1. Has any of you ever heard the firing shot of an assault rifle from close range? the sound of shots in first video are nothing more than 'patakhas' 2. Has anyone been hit by a bullet or have you ever heard anyone hit by a bullet? the sounds that those 'dying' men produce sound like a total acting. 3. Is there any blood on any shirt? as soon as a bullet hits, blood spurts out. (Even in sultan rahi movies); no blood can be seen as soon as the bullets allegedly hit them. 4. As for the second video: look at the haircuts of soldiers,specially the one who has tied back his hair with a cloth. Pakistan Army never allows such haircuts. The video doesn't seem to be made in secret as at one point, the cameraman asks the same guy with his hair tied back in a cloth to look into the camera. The language is definitely urdu or Hindi. Whereas the beating is genuine in this one (poor souls), smiles on th efaces of alleged soldiers really gives away the act. Its either Indians torturing some kashmiris or some actors. Pakistani soldiers can't DARE to do any such thing because they know the harsh punishments military discipline enforces on them. Some times people with 25 years of service are sent home withing 24 hours with no retirement benefits if a true act of ill discipline is established.
 Reply:   Let us have a transparent inquiry
Replied by(International_Professor) Replied on (11/Oct/2010)

Let us have a transparent inquiry

General Ashfaq Kayani has ordered an inquiry into the video clip that allegedly shows Pakistan Army personnel wasting six blindfolded men, hands tied behind their backs. This is a positive step. Kayani also said in his remarks on October 8 that such conduct – i.e. executing the adversary or suspects in cold blood – “is not expected of a professional army”.

He has appointed a major-general to head the inquiry, along with at least three other senior officers. At the same time, Kayani has cautioned that the video might well have been faked since the Taliban and other extremist groups are known to doctor videos.

So, yes, one doesn’t need to jump to any conclusions until the inquiry is complete. Having said this, however, let me add one caveat and also revisit the video.

First, the caveat: the inquiry committee, in addition to the military officers, should also have at least three eminent civilians — a judge, a media person, and one representative of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan. This would make the exercise transparent and add to the weight of Kayani’s words that such conduct, if proved, would not be tolerated.

Now to the video:  I described it last week. Having seen it many times since, I have heard some more. The second time the soldier speaks, he tells Abid to tell Tanvir saab “Toor saab is calling you.” It should not be too difficult to pinpoint a unit that has officers Tanvir and Toor, not to mention the bearded gentleman who is the most easily identifiable.

When the bearded officer goes up to the blindfolded men, he asks, “Do you know the kalma; yes?”

He goes up to the first and says “You recite it.”

Subsequently, it’s inaudible, but he seems to ask each of them in turn to recite the kalma. If this video is genuine, then army has a bizarre way of administering rites de passage. The last thing one hears before the firing is one soldier asking, “One by one, or all at once?” “All at once,” is the answer.

Prima facie, this video doesn’t seem faked. It is important that the inquiry committee not approach it from the premise that it is ersatz. The soldier and the officer, who can be heard, are not Pashtun. They speak army lingo and betray army mannerism. Also, this execution does not bespeak heat-of-battle mindlessness. It appears planned, though at what level is not clear.

I have heard other such stuff on the grapevine, so chances are, if this is genuine, it’s not a one-off. And if it is not, and given what the Taliban groups avowedly do, how should we react to this?

Some people would say that if these men were Taliban, the army was right to bump them off. Wrong. Anyone who knows the army and has an abiding interest in studying the art of soldiering would be loath to say this. There are pressures in the field. I’d be the first to concede them. I have seen and felt those pressures and written about them, and not from the confines of a drawing room. I am also worried about the current tour of duty in the operational areas, roughly 22 months for a unit, which is at least a year more than it should be.

Equally disturbing are issues of equipment and casualties. We have to debate them and the army has to be more open about them. No army has ever suffered on the basis of openness but most have for being opaque. Neither does the argument that the army has internal mechanisms for correction impress me. Organisation theory is empirically clear on two major and built-in weaknesses of even the most efficient large bureaucratic organisation — bounded rationality and systematic stupidity. So, while, as Herodotus said, during wars fathers bury their sons, we have to ensure the sons are not getting buried because someone is blundering.

And yet, none of this makes, or can, extenuating grounds for a disciplined force possibly acting like rogue elements. Units and sub-units can succumb to such pressures; it is not easy to see videos of one’s comrades being slaughtered on camera. But this is precisely the point where officer ship comes in, the point where a soldier and his honor stand out in sharp contrast from a sick killer.

In a war where the enemy is tightly coupled with the non-combatant, such incidents can, and will, happen. But the army has to continuously watch out for them to maintain its organisational integrity, cohesiveness, morale and discipline. At the same time, we need to work out the legalities of dealing with such fighters. It is a tough call but offers a challenge that must be met.

Kayani has ordered the inquiry; let us see how quickly and transparently the committee closes this sordid affair.

By Ejaz Haider


 Reply:   Army chief started enquiry
Replied by(Noman) Replied on (8/Oct/2010)

 Reply:   Pakistani Army has turned into a mercennary army
Replied by(Ibn-e-Hallaj) Replied on (5/Oct/2010)

Pakistani Army has turned into a mercennary army ready to brutalize, kill and torture its own citizens. It is fighting America's war against Islam and is a totally sold out now. Shame on Pak Army. May all its generals, brigadiers, officers and soldiers rot in hell.
 Reply:   Line them up and execute
Replied by(International_Professor) Replied on (3/Oct/2010)

Line them up and execute


What should one make of the YouTube video that allegedly shows Pakistan Army troops executing six men, blindfolded and hands tied behind their backs? There are three arguments, starting with the assumption that it is ersatz.

The army says it has zero tolerance for this kind of behaviour and is investigating the issue. If the veracity of the video is established, the men will be punished. Last time an army major was found involved in murdering some villagers in Sindh, he was dismissed from service and sentenced to death.

The army also says the Taliban are known to make and doctor videos. Also, the last time they attacked the GHQ, they were wearing army uniforms and one could not tell them apart from genuine soldiers.

Assumption two: The video shows army jawans bringing six men to an unidentified location and line them up. While these men are being led to the spot where they are shown to be killed, one can hear birds chirping and then a voice saying, “Tanvir saab, 2IC [second-in-command] saab bula rahay hain.” Apparently, Tanvir saab doesn’t hear him and this man then calls out and says, “Abid, Tanvir saab ko bulao; 2IC saab bula rahay hain.” Army lingo, this.

The jawans are in battle fatigues with flak jackets and helmets, holding G-3s, the standard-issue assault rifle of the army. To anyone who has seen the army from close quarters, it is hard to believe that this is a set-up, given the soldiers’ movements and mannerism.

After the men have been lined up, a soldier, presumably an officer, inspects them. He is bearded and without a moustache. He returns to the line of soldiers who straighten their rifles; one hears G-3 shots. The men fall; two soldiers walk up to the bodies and pump single rounds. One tries to fire and the rifle produces the distinct click of an empty magazine. Since he seems to be using a standard G-3 magazine, he has fired at least 20 FMJ (full metal jacket) rounds until that point.

Assumption three: this has happened, not because the army has a policy to execute Taliban fighters or suspects, but because in an operational environment where there is no front and no rear and where the enemy cannot be identified, fighting takes its toll and a unit or a sub-unit can succumb to such pressures.

It is a fact, perhaps not well-known, that Taliban groups have slaughtered captured officers and jawans on camera and sent those videos to the units. Those videos are not for the squeamish. It is only human for a fighting unit to cross the line that separates killing someone in a fire-fight and murdering fighters or suspects in cold blood to avenge the brutal killings of comrades-in-arms. (By the way, the current operational tenure is about 22 months, a terribly long time for any unit.)

But this is precisely the slippery slope the army must be worried about. The cost in terms of the psychological makeup of a fighting unit, its discipline, its approach to problem-solving, and a multitude of other factors, far outweighs the benefit of executing Taliban fighters in this manner.

In Book Three of History of the Peloponnesian War, Thucydides writes in detail about the Mytilenian Dialogue. The account, which deals with the debate over whether Athens should execute the people of Mytilene, after their revolt captures with great incisiveness the moral and ethical dilemmas and confusions that dog a people during times of war and conflict.

Pakistan has been in a state of war for nine years. And this war, for the most part, is an insurgency involving some elements of Pakistani society pitted against the state. The ethical questions for us are even more troublesome. So far, we have not even begun to debate them in any nuanced manner. And the army remains the most closed.

It is crucial for the army to openly and transparently investigate this video and, if it is found to be genuine, to proceed against the officers and men involved for murder. And it is the task of the media and the society to debate these issues without losing the many nuances that underlie them.

Published in The Express Tribune, October 4th, 2010.

 Reply:   army
Replied by(drkjke) Replied on (3/Oct/2010)

pakistani army since day one has been a totally secular institution that has suppressed islam and islmaists in pakistan.remember in ayub khan era how pakistan army fired on mall road anti qadiani protestors.and now see there murder of muslims in swat ,tribal areas anad even in islamabad like in laal mosque.this army polishes the boot of zionist kufars but kills the devout muslims.those people who support this army are equal participants of this army,s crimes and inshalah will be punished with these army men in akhira and in this world.apart from brief period of zia ul haq ,our army has always been ruled by laws of kufer and islam hatred.
 Reply:   Pakistan army is a mafia
Replied by(Ghulam_Rasool) Replied on (3/Oct/2010)

Peoples are scared and only orderlies or batmans of army officials are running campaign in favor of army to propagate braveness of world's most coward army.

Omar Cheema is an example that if you will speak fascist generals will kill, abduct or torture any citizen.

 Reply:   پتہ نہیں کب ھم لوگ، پاک فوج کے تسلط سے آزاد ھوں گے
Replied by(Noman) Replied on (3/Oct/2010)

میڈیا ایک منت نہیں لگاتا پولیس، عام لوگ اور طالبان کے بارے میں مشکوک سے مشکوک اور بری سے بری ویڈیو چلاتے ھوئے۔ عدالتیں بھی منٹ نہیں لگاتیں ھر چیز پر سوموٹو ایکشن لیتے ھوئے۔ لیکن فوج کیوں احتساب اور تنقید اور سزا سے بالاتر ھے۔ ھم اگر پاکستان میں فوج کا کردار اور طاقت کم کرنا چاہتے ھیں تو ھمیں اسطرح کی چیزیں پبلک کر کے ڈسکس کر نی چاہئیں تاکہ کوگ انھیں مقدس گائے نا سمجھیں اور انکی طاقت کو کنٹرول کرنے کا سد باب کریں۔ ایسے وقت میں جب ایجینسیاں ھر طرف افراتفری پھیلا کر اور سیاستدانوں کے بارے میں ھر چھوٹی بڑی بات کو پروپیگنڈا کرکے مارشل لا کا راستہ صاف کر رھے ھیں۔ میڈیا کو چاہیئے کہ وہ فوج کی خامیاں اور اسطرح کے کرمنل ایکٹ سامنے لائے
 Reply:   Its very painful and disgusting
Replied by(Noman) Replied on (2/Oct/2010)

no wonder, why we are facing all kinds of wrath of Allah
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