KARACHI: The Human Rights Watch (HRW) released a report today highlighting the possibility that Police in Pakistan may be responsible for hundreds of extra judicial killings every year.

In its 102-page report titled “This Crooked System” the HRW citing public surveys and reports from government accountability and redress institutions stated that ‘the police are one of the most widely feared, complained against, and least trusted government institutions in Pakistan.”

The report points out the politicization of district level police chiefs who are “under the control of powerful politicians, wealthy landowners, and other influential members of society.”

Citing interviews with police officials the HRW report states that officers “openly admitted to the practice of faked ‘encounter killings’, in which police stage an armed exchange to kill an individual already in custody.”

The report claims such ‘encounters’ take place because of pressure from higher command or powerful individuals or because the police is unable to gather enough evidence to ensure convictions.