More Pakistani died in ‘encounters’ than suicide attacks in 2017, reports HRCP

More Pakistanis died in what were dubbed, by law enforcers, as encounter killings than in gun violence or suicide attacks in 2017, reveals the annual report of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP), Daily Times reported on April 17. The 29th annual report – dedicated to the memory of veteran human rights activist Asma Jahangir – was launched at a ceremony in Islamabad on April 16. According to report, 495 people were killed in what were reported by law enforcement agencies as shootouts during 2017, while gun violence and suicide attacks claimed the lives of 399 and 298 Pakistanis, respectively. These were followed by deaths in bomb explosions. The figure stood at 144.

The report covers six broad areas: rule of law, fundamental freedoms, democratic development, rights of disadvantaged, and social and economic rights. The HRCP reported that, of the 868 cases of ‘enforced disappearances’ received in 2017 by the Commission of Inquiry on Enforced Disappearances, 555 were disposed of. The real numbers were likely far higher, it feared. The report noted that crimes again women remained at an all-time high with about 5,660 cases of violence reported in the first 10 months of 2017. Honour-based crimes claimed the lives of 274 women, another 206 were gang-raped, 2,840 raped, and 681 murdered across the country. Province-wise data showed that more than 3,400 crimes against women were reported in Punjab. With 202, the number of such crimes was lowest in KP (between January 1 and June 30, 2017). Sindh witnessed 1,704 crimes in the first 10 months of the year, while Balochistan reported 354 cases during the same period.