washington -

A U.S. report on human rights has sharply criticized Pakistan's record in the field last year, saying Lack of government accountability remained a pervasive problem. 

"The most serious human rights problems were extrajudicial and targeted killings, forced disappearances, and torture, which affected thousands of citizens in nearly all parts of the country," the report, titled "Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2012" released by the US State Department,  as mandated by the Congress, said.  "Other human rights problems included poor prison conditions, arbitrary detention, lengthy pretrial detention, a weak criminal justice system, insufficient training for prosecutors and criminal investigators, a lack of judicial independence in the lower courts, and infringements on citizens’ privacy rights," said the report, which was release by Secretary of State John Kerry.

"Harassment of journalists, some censorship, and self-censorship continued. There were some restrictions on freedom of assembly and some limits on freedom of movement," the State Department said.  "Religious freedom violations and discrimination against religious minorities continued, including some violations sanctioned by law. Corruption was widespread within the government and the police forces, and the government made few attempts to combat the problem.

"Rape, domestic violence, sexual harassment, “honour” crimes and other harmful traditional practices, abuse, and discrimination against women remained serious problems. Child abuse and commercial sexual exploitation of children persisted. Widespread human trafficking--including forced and bonded labor--was a serious problem. Societal discrimination against national, ethnic, and racial minorities continued, as did discrimination based on caste, sexual orientation, gender identity, and HIV status. Lack of respect for worker rights continued.

"Lack of govt accountability remained a pervasive problem. Abuses often went unpunished, fostering a culture of impunity. Authorities punished government officials for human rights violations in very few instances. Violence, abuse, and social and religious intolerance by militant organizations and other nongovernmental actors contributed to a culture of lawlessness in some parts of the country.

, particularly Balochistan, Sindh, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA)." In 2012, the report added,

 "The PPP and its federal coalition partners controlled the executive and legislative branches of the national government and three of the four provincial assemblies. The military and intelligence services nominally reported to civilian authorities but essentially operated without effective civilian oversight. The police generally reported to civilian authority, although there were instances in which it acted independently."