Tens of thousands of people have been killed in Pakistan’s long battle with militants as part of the post-9/11 “war on terror”. Evidence of murder and torture by soldiers and insurgents is emerging only now. The BBC has gained rare access to some of the victims.
It was early in 2014 when TV news networks trumpeted a major victory in the war against the Pakistani Taliban – the killing of one of the group’s most senior commanders in a night-time air raid.
Adnan Rasheed and up to five members of his family were reported to have died in the strikes in the North Waziristan tribal area, near the Afghan border.
Rasheed, a former Pakistan Air Force technician, was well-known. He had written an extraordinary letter to Malala Yousafzai, the schoolgirl and activist shot in the head by Taliban gunmen in 2012, attempting to justify why it had happened. He’d also been in prison for trying to assassinate former President Pervez Musharraf – until he broke out.
Now it appeared that his luck had run out.
Quoting security officials, news channels reported on 22 January 2014 that Adnan Rasheed’s hideout had been targeted two nights earlier in the Hamzoni area.
Waziristan and other parts of the vast mountainous tribal region have been controlled and locked-down by the Pakistani military since the US invasion of Afghanistan after 9/11, which saw Taliban fighters, al-Qaeda jihadists and other…