ISLAMABAD - A minister of the ruling PPP on Saturday said that the top brass of the Pakistan Army is probing into the cases of human rights violations allegedly committed during the Raah-e-Raast and Raah-e-Nijaat operations carried out in Swat and South Waziristan Agency (SWA) in the last couple of years. The army itself was probing around 260 cases of human rights violations occurred during military operations, Federal Minister for Human Rights, Syed Mumtaz Alam Gillani said. He was talking to a small group of journalists at his ministrys office to sensitise the media about the performance of Human Rights Ministry, a day after Human Rights Day was observed all over the world. He was flanked by Secretary Ministry of Human Rights, Justice (R) Riaz Kiyani. The minister admitted when he was asked about a recent report titled 'Civilian Harm and Conflict in Northwest Pakistan launched by a US pressure group which works for civilian victims caught in armed conflicts namely, Campaign for Innocent Victims in Conflict (CIVIC). CIVIC in its report has stated that civilian casualties in war-hit areas of Pakistan receive too little attention from US, Pakistani and donor-nation policymakers, military officials and international organisations alike. However, Justice Kiyanis views were different from that of Mumtaz Alam. He said that such reports of international NGOs were based on only hearsay and contradictory to the ground realities. While admiring the role of the Pakistani Army in the war against terrorism, he said that militants had made dysfunctional the whole government machinery in Swat and it was very difficult to fight with them in that area that was a fit place for guerrilla war. But our military cleared the area of militants within two months, he added. He also said that when the Army conducted military operation in these areas, the possibility of occurrence of some casualties could not be ruled out while fighting with the anti-state elements and no one could term these as human rights violations. Justice Riaz Kiyani also disclosed that after the Swat operation, he as Secretary Law had attended a high level meeting of top brass of the military convened to review the cases of those 1,500 people held in Swat during military operation. He said that these persons had been fighting under coercion of militants. He said that the army wanted to free them in spite of the fact that he told the officers that those people were offenders under the law as the Constitution of Pakistan considered any person fighting against the state under coercion as offender. But military officers had asserted that they being the persons of disciplined force wanted to free those 1,500 people as they had been fighting against the state after getting life threats from militants and under coercion, Justice Kiyani informed. When a journalist asked him if it meant that the Army preferred its own view to the Constitution of Pakistan, he replied, You are only trying to twist facts. Earlier, Mumtaz Gillani informed that there was nothing wrong with blasphemy laws as it was the part of the Constitution but such laws application was wrong. It is amazing that 476 cases of blasphemy have been registered against Muslims and 422 against minorities so far, Alam said adding no one was convicted till yet in this case. He said that Station House Officer (SHO) concerned always succumbed to the pressure of local people while registering a blasphemy case. As blasphemy is a sensitive issue for our people, we cannot expect justice from a session or additional sessions judge under the immense pressure from masses, he said. Mumtaz Alam and Justice Kiyani both informed that Ministry of Human Rights was struggling hard to bring some changes in the procedure of trials and investigations in blasphemy cases. They proposed that two senior judges of the High Courts should hear and try such cases. Justice Riaz also said that the inquiry conducted by SPs in such cases should be scrutinised by courts before submission of challan.