Pakistan on Thursday condemned the ‘systematic torture’ of terror suspects by the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and called for the respect of human rights and international humanitarian law while countering terrorism.
“We have seen some excerpts of the very lengthy report. We have also seen the reactions. We deplore the systematic torture of the detainees at various locations by the CIA,” Foreign Office Spokesperson Tasnim Aslam told reporters at her weekly news briefing.
She said the US Senate Intelligence Committee report “reinforced Pakistan’s point of view that international human rights and humanitarian law must be respected while fighting the menace of terrorism.”
The US Senate report launched a scathing criticism against the CIA for using harsh interrogation techniques against terror suspects including ones from Pakistan. Many Pakistanis were believed to have remained in the CIA custody after the 9/11 attacks. Some of them might have faced a similar torture at the hands of the American intelligence agency.
When asked, the spokesperson hoped that such inhuman tactics would not be used in future in the wake of US Senate report. “We have also emphasised the need for transparency. We have noted the assurances by US administration, including at the highest level, that this behavior would never be repeated again,” she said.
Ban’s statement on Kashmir welcomed
Tasnim welcomed the recent statement made by United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon offering his good offices to assist in resolving the long-standing issue of Jammu and Kashmir.
“This unresolved issue remains the root cause of tension between Pakistan and India, and its just resolution is of paramount importance for ensuring peace, stability and development in the region,” she said, adding that the secretary general’s statement regarding the need to associate the people of Jammu and Kashmir in the process, while respecting their rights, was deeply appreciated.
“Pakistan firmly believes that the final disposition of the Jammu and Kashmir issue should be in accordance with the will of the Kashmiri people, to be determined through a free and impartial plebiscite under the UN auspices, as enshrined in relevant Security Council Resolutions.”
The spokesperson further said Pakistan was committed to a sustained, unconditional and result-oriented dialogue with India, to discuss all outstanding issues, including the core issue of Jammu and Kashmir.
Published in The Express Tribune, December 12th, 2014.