Extra-judicial killings: The ALRC continues to document hundreds of cases of extra-judicial killings in Pakistan, which are generally accompanied by impunity, due to a lack of investigations and prosecutions. These violations and the lack of effective action to punish them, or provide redress to victims and their families, speak to serious lacuna in the institutions of the rule of law. Without reforms to ensure that the country’s investigation and justice delivery systems can function effectively, notably where the perpetrators of abuses are thought to be state agents or members of powerful groups, the prospect for the effective protection and enjoyment of human rights, including the right to life, remains extremely dim.
These killings are part of a wider pattern of arbitrary arrests or abductions, forced disappearances and torture, following which victims are surfaced dead, often by having their mutilated bodies dumped by the roadside. For example, in Balochistan Province alone, between July 2010 and October 2011, the ALRC documented 215 extra-judicial killings following abductions by paramilitary forces or forced disappearance by Pakistan’s law enforcement and security agencies. Pakistan’s Supreme Court has received some 300 cases of extra-judicial killings of persons following forced disappearance over the last year. Journalists, teachers, political activists, students and human rights defenders have been targeted in particular.