PRESS RELEASE NO RELEASE BEFORE OCTOBER 13, 2010, 12am EDT, 9am
PKT PAKISTAN: US & Pakistani Governments Must Help Civilians Caught in Conflict New on-the-ground report finds conflict victims overlooked, angry and in need
WASHINGTON DC, October 13, 2010, 12am EDT – Campaign for Innocent Victims in Conflict (CIVIC) issued a report today detailing civilian conflict losses in northwest Pakistan, the views of victims, and warring parties’ efforts to address their losses. CIVIC’s Christopher Rogers spent a year on-the-ground in Pakistan interviewing over 160 civilian survivors, most of whom received little or no help.
“I hold the army responsible,” one man who lost both arms to a Pakistani tank shell told CIVIC. “For two or three militants they crush the whole village, and so we are against the army. I am the only member of the family that can support, but I am unable to work… I do not know how we will manage to live.”
CIVIC found that civilian casualties in Pakistan are significant, and in 2009, were even greater than those in Afghanistan. CIVIC’s report also found that civilian casualties in US drone strikes are almost certainly higher than the US admits. A father in North Waziristan, who lost 11 family members to a drone strike, told CIVIC: “Yes, the drone strikes hurt the Taliban… but sometimes innocent people also become the victim of such attacks. Take my case… I blame the government of Pakistan and the USA—they are responsible for destroying my family.
We were living a happy life and I didn’t have any links with the Taliban. My family members were innocent. I wonder, why was I victimized?”
Civilians in Pakistan suffer from militant attacks and terrorism, Pakistani military operations and US drone strikes. CIVIC found that efforts do exist to compensate and assist victims, but deficiencies and gaps mean most victims receive no help and many are losing hope.
“I heard over and over from victims that they expected help, but most never even got an apology for what happened to them,” said Rogers. “The US and Pakistan should take note that denying or overlooking their losses is provoking anger and undermining the Pakistani government’s legitimacy.”
Download a full PDF of the report here:
Campaign for Innocent Victims in Conflict works on behalf of war victims by advocating that warring parties recognize and help the civilians they harm. CIVIC supports the principle that it is never acceptable for a warring party to ignore civilian suffering.
For Additional Information: Press inquiries or to schedule an interview with Christopher Rogers: Marla Keenan +1 917 353 7076