Pakistan arrests human rights leader who criticised army

PESHAWAR, Pakistan (AP) — Pakistani security forces yesterday arrested the leader of a human rights group that has accused the military of committing widespread abuses in its war on terror.

Manzoor Pashteen was detained along with six others in a pre-dawn raid in the the northwestern city of Peshawar, said Javed Khan, a local police official. He said Pashteen was arrested on charges of making anti-government speeches at rallies and inciting violence. He provided no further details.

Pashteen, 27, heads the Pashtun Protection Movement, which has emerged as a force among the country’s Pashtun minority, drawing tens of thousands to rallies.

The group contends that the military is waging a campaign of intimidation as it battles extremists militants in the country’s rugged border region near Afghanistan.

The group said the army’s heavy-handed tactics include extrajudicial killings and thousands of disappearances and detentions.