The Pakistani army has allegedly committed hundreds of retaliatory killings and other ongoing human rights abuses in the Swat Valley since the end of its successful anti-Taliban offensive there in September, threatening billions of dollars in U.S. military and economic aid to a crucial ally in the fight against al-Qaeda and the Taliban. The extrajudicial execution of up to 300 alleged Taliban supporters and sympathizers in the area around Mingora, the Swat capital, has been documented by Human Rights Watch, which conducted interviews with more than 100 Swat families in February and March. A report on the alleged abuses, including torture, home demolitions and illegal detentions and disappearances, is scheduled for release this month. Based on a continuing pattern, “we can only assume it is part of the counterterrorism effort by the security forces to shoot people in the back of the head,” said Ali Dayan Hasan, the organization’s senior South Asia analyst. “When the Taliban was in charge, they did the same thing,” Hasan said. “Summary execution has become a symbol of control. If you’re in control, you leave corpses around.” (Washington Post)

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