"Central Intelligence Agency Chief Leon Panetta has arrived in Islamabad on
a visit to discuss the US strategy on the war against terror.
Panetta held talks with Premier Yousuf Raza Gilani and Lieutenant General
Ahmad Shuja Pasha, the chief of Pakistan's powerful Inter-Services Intelligence
(ISI), on Saturday."
Do you think this was discussed? And how so?
"Torture is routinely used in Pakistan, both to obtain confessions in
criminal cases and against political and ideological opponents. Most acts of
torture are aimed at producing a confession during the course of a criminal
investigation. However, acts of torture by military and intelligence agencies
often are intended for punishment. Torture often follows illegal abductions or
'disappearances' by Pakistan's notorious Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI)
agency or military. Torture is often used to frighten the detainee into
compliance. If the detainee is released, it is usually on the understanding that
if he fails to do what is demanded or expected of him, a further abduction and
torture will follow. In this manner, the victim of custodial abuse can be kept
in a state of fear often for several years. Most often, the threat of torture is
enough to ensure compliance to the demands of the intelligence agencies.
Neither high social standing nor public profile deters the ISI or other
state agencies from perpetrating torture if they deem it in the interest of
'national security'-the relative anonymity of a victim only simplifies matters
for the torturers."