NEW YORK- Violence against women in Pakistan remained "rampant" in 2005, with President Pervez Musharraf sparking a global outcry with his remarks on rape, Human Rights Watch said in its annual report
Military ruler Musharraf`s government was too busy consolidating its own power and violating human rights in pursuit of the US-led "war on terror" to take any action to help women, the US-based organisation said on Wednesday.
"Domestic and international human rights organizations and media drew attention this year to the governments dismissive attitude regarding violence against women," the report said.
It highlighted the cases of Mukhtaran Mai, a gang-rape victim banned from going to the United States so she would not "malign Pakistan", and a female doctor who said a Musharraf aide coerced her to leave the country after she was allegedly raped by an army officer.
Musharraf later said that getting raped had become a "money making" concern and that many Pakistanis felt it was an easy way to get a foreign visa and emigrate, the group said.
"Despite the international and domestic condemnation, President Musharraf has not apologized for these remarks or withdrawn them," it said.
The report further accused Pakistan of failing to overturn Islamic laws that make it almost impossible to prove rape, and for not tackling the deaths of hundreds of women in so-called "honour killings".
Separately, the "war on terror" in Pakistan since 2001 had "involved serious violations of human rights," the report said, with suspects often being detained without charge and subject to trials without proper judicial process.
Problems persisted due to military operations in Pakistan`s tribal areas bordering Afghanistan, "including collective punishment, extrajudicial executions, arbitrary detentions, and limited access to prisoners."
Sectarian violence continued to increase in Pakistan, especially in the predominantly Shiite Northern Areas, the group reported.
"Human rights organizations and independent analysts assert that Pakistans intelligence agencies are complicit in the sectarian violence in the Northern Areas," it said.