A US State department report finds 75% of defendants are acquitted.
Islamabad had not closed loopholes which allow criminal gangs to launder funds for terrorist groups and had yet to sufficiently improve its police investigation methods to collect better evidence from crime scenes. Film footage of the scene of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto’s 2007 assassination in Rawalpindi being hosed down inspired claims of an official cover-up.
The report comes amid deteriorating relations between the two countries and continuing anger in India at the slow progress in Pakistan’s prosecution of a number of alleged terrorist leaders charged with plotting the 2008 Mumbai massacre. Six Americans were among the 166 victims.
The criticisms are contained in the State Department’s 2010 Country Reports on Terrorism, published last week.
It found that while Pakistan maintained it was committed to prosecuting those accused of terrorism, a study of its Anti-Terrorism Court’s rulings last year disclosed “that Pakistan remained plagued by an acquittal rate of approximately 75 per cent”, and a legal system “almost incapable of prosecuting suspected terrorists”.