Police in Pakistan are involved in extrajudicial executions through fake encounters, according to a report by Human Rights Watch, which recommends punitive action for officers engaged in such practices.
Several officers who spoke to the New York-based advocacy group admitted that armed encounters were staged in order to kill suspects who are already in custody.
Members of marginalized and poor communities have no access to justice due to a faulty prosecution system based on the registration of complaints by the police, the report, released on Monday, said.
The report comes amid growing allegations of extrajudicial killings against the Pakistani military, which is fighting against Islamist militants and nationalist rebels in the south-western province of Balochistan.
Police in the central province of Punjab face similar allegations, especially after launching a crackdown against the militants of Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, an anti-Shiite group linked to both al-Qaeda and Islamic State.
HRW said most extrajudicial executions are carried out due to "pressure from high command or local elite."
Torture practices also undermined the credibility of the prosecution system, the organization added.
It recommended introducing a mechanism for holding the police officers involved in such practices to account.