The State Department report also highlights the issue of forced disappearances in Pakistan, noting that in 2017, “there were kidnappings and forced disappearances of persons from various backgrounds in nearly all areas of the country. Some police and security forces reportedly held prisoners incommunicado and refused to disclose their location”.
The report also alleges that dozens of political workers and activists were kidnapped, tortured and killed in all these places.
The most significant human rights issues identified in the report include extrajudicial and targeted killings, disappearances, torture, lack of rule of law and frequent mob violence and vigilante justice with limited accountability.
Additional problems identified in the report are arbitrary detention, lengthy pre-trial detention, a lack of judicial independence in the lower courts, governmental infringement on citizens’ privacy rights, harassment of journalists, and high-profile attacks against journalists and media organisations.
Government restrictions on freedom of assembly, freedom of movement and freedom of religion and discrimination against religious minorities, and sectarian violence have also continued.