Amnesty: 4 Million Pakistanis Living Under Taliban Rule

The human rights group Amnesty International says nearly four million people living in northwest Pakistan are being subjected to torture, abuse and death at the hands of the Taliban.

In its report "As if Hell Fell on Me," the human rights group says the Pakistani government has abandoned the people living in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas and the Northwest Frontier Province.

The report calls the areas a "human rights free zone" where Pakistanis have no legal protection by the government. It says the Taliban kill those who challenge their authority and impose their rule of law by torturing teachers, aid workers and political activists.

In response to the report, Pakistani foreign ministry spokesman Abdul Basit told the French News Agency the government is fully committed to improving the human rights situation in the country.

Amnesty International says at least 1,300 people were killed in fighting in northwestern Pakistan in 2009.

The group's interim secretary-general Claudio Cordone said the Pakistani government is also ignoring the plight of more than one million people who have been displaced from their homes because of fighting with the Taliban.

The group's report is based on almost 300 interviews with residents of the tribal areas, located near the border with Afghanistan.

It calls on the Pakistani government to come through on promised reforms for the region.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.