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U.S. criticizes Pakistan for lack of civilian rule

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    U.S. criticizes Pakistan for lack of civilian rule

    WIRE:02/25/2000 13:09:00 ET
    U.S. criticizes Pakistan for lack of civilian rule

    WASHINGTON, Feb 25 (Reuters) - With President Bill Clinton weighing whether to visit Pakistan next month, the U.S. State Department on Friday criticised the military government there for not setting elections after last year's coup.
    The department's human rights report on 1999 said while Pakistan's "poor" human rights record had deteriorated under the last elected leader, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, the situation worsened after the Oct. 12 coup that put Army General Pervez Musharraf in control.

    "The situation worsened with the seizure of power by General Musharraf, in that after the coup, citizens no longer had the right to change their government peacefully," the report said.

    The United States has been pressing Pakistan to restore civilian rule since the coup, but Musharraf has not set a timetable for elections.

    Clinton has said the decision on whether he visits Pakistan during a trip to India and Bangladesh in the week of March 20 rests on what would advance the U.S. interest in averting a nuclear arms race between India and Pakistan.

    The State Department report said the Musharraf regime used "arbitrary" and "incommunicado" detention against political figures from the Sharif government and its anti-corruption campaign "violated due process."

    "Although many of those detained immediately following the coup were released in the days afterwards or subsequently were charged through the court system, several individuals remained in custody without charge," the report said.

    It accused the police of human rights violations and corruption before and after the coup. "Despite attempts to reform and to professionalize the police, both before and after the coup police committed numerous extrajudicial killings and tortured, abused, and raped citizens," the report said.

    On press freedom, Musharraf got higher marks than Sharif. "The Musharraf regime appeared to cease direct attempts to manage the press, which were common under the Sharif government," the report said. "Articles critical of the Musharraf regime appeared regularly in the press," it said.

    Violence against women continues in Pakistan with women subjected to abuse, rape, and trafficking by their spouses or others, the report said, also citing so-called "honor killings" of women by family members.

    In Afghanistan, the State Department said, the overall human rights situation was "extremely poor" and the ruling Taleban "continued to commit serious human rights violations."

    Taleban forces were reportedly responsible for political killings that included targeted killings, mass killings, executions and deaths in custody, the report said.

    "There were allegations that Taleban forces were responsible for disappearances," the report said.

    The U.N. Security Council has imposed sanctions on the Taleban for its refusal to turn over Saudi exile Osama bin Laden to outside authorities to stand trial. The United States accuses him of masterminding the 1998 bombings of two U.S. embassies in Africa that killed mmore than 220 people.

    The report said the human rights situation for women was "extremely poor" in Afghanistan, and women and girls were subjected to rape, kidnapping and forced marriage, especially in areas outside of Taleban control.

    The treatment of women and girls in Taleban-controlled areas "improved slightly," the report said. While girls were prohibited from attending school, several organisations were able to run elementary schools and home schools with girls attending, the report said.

    The State Department said its full report would be available later on Friday through its Web site,

    Human Rights in Afghanistan

    Human Rights in Pakistan

    Human Rights in India.

    Human Rights in Bangladesh


      Oh the poor US.

      Fata Morgana


        Looks like there are human right abuses in every country in the world(including Canada). Only USA does not have any Human Rights Abuses. Pakistanis should check out the Indian newspapers tomorrow for detailed report on "Human Rights abuses in Pakistan" and and Indians should check Pakistani newspapers for "Human Rights abuses in India".

        [This message has been edited by mohabbat (edited February 25, 2000).]


          I was reading 'USA Today' and was surprised to know that there are universities like South Carolina's Bob Jones Univ. which prohibits interracial dating. Talk of equality.