Pakistan admits to holding 700 militants without charge
ISLAMABAD | Thu Jan 24, 2013 7:02am EST
(Reuters) - Pakistan is holding 700 suspected Islamist militants without charge under a law that has come under fire from human rights groups, its attorney general said on Thursday.
The admission marked the first time that the strategic U.S. ally detailed how many militants it is holding in the tribal areas of the northwest under the Actions in Aid of Civil Power Regulations law.
"There is a military operation in Waziristan. Under the law we cannot try these 700 people, nor can we release them, unless the operation is over," Attorney General Irfan Qadir told the Supreme Court, referring to a tribal area near the Afghan border.
In December, Amnesty International condemned the law, saying it "provided a framework for widespread human rights violations to occur with impunity".