ISPR terms BBC story on alleged Pakistan human rights abuses a ‘pack of lies’

F.P. Report

RAWALPINDI: The Pakistan military on Monday refuted contents of a story published by British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) on alleged human rights violations in Pakistan and termed it to be a “pack of lies and in violation of journalistic ethos”.

The story, titled “Uncovering Pakistan’s Secret Human Rights Abuses” and published on June 2, carries conjecturing implicating Pakistan Army without any proof, the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said in a statement.

“The angling, spinning and credibility of the story is exposed from the fact that contrary to published claim, ISPR only received a judgmental questionnaire via email,” the statement read.

“In response, the ISPR offered full opportunity, even interaction to know the facts (copy attached). BBC team never responded and did a preconceived, conjectured story.”

The Pakistani military said the story was void of the context and understanding of the prevalent environment at that time.

“Contrary to the expression in the story, operation in North Waziristan as per the given date of so-called incident in the report had not yet started. The area (NWD) was being used by terrorists to plan, coordinate and execute terrorist activities across the country. On the average, 6-8 terrorist incidents per month were taking place across Pakistan, targeting children, women, schools, churches and markets. People were being slaughtered in NWD and terrorists were playing football with heads of their victims. NWD and local population were actually hostage to hardcore terrorists,” the ISPR explained.

“The BBC story lacks any credible and authentic source and merely relied on hearsay. The basis of the complete story on ‘So Called Strikes’ quoting an unauthentic private TV channel’s news 22 Jan 2014. The only sources interviewed also didn’t point at anyone, or talked about strike or operation. The issue mentioned in the report is of NWD, whereas quoted activist as source is of a particular group from South Waziristan District (SWD),” it noted.

“Besides not availing full opportunity offered by the ISPR, the BBC report ignored available official government stance on recent Kharkamar check post incident in NWD,” the ISPR stated further.

It said the writer of the story surely lacked knowledge of environment, ground situation, geography of the area and about conduct of the operations. “The story remains ill intended, biased and part of a larger agenda. It also amounts to undermining Pakistan’s efforts for fighting global menace of terrorism and Pakistan’s unparalleled achievements in war against terrorism, contributing to regional peace.

“The people of Pakistan are well aware of the fake news phenomenon of all types and design behind such undertakings. The issue is being formally taken up with BBC authorities,” the ISPR concluded.