Kohistan video scandal: Man says his three brothers were killed on jirga order

Published: January 7, 2013
Afzal Kohistani requests reopening of case; fears bloody feud if judicial action not taken. PHOTO: FILE

Afzal Kohistani requests reopening of case; fears bloody feud if judicial action not taken. PHOTO: FILE

Afzal Kohistani requests reopening of case; fears bloody feud if judicial action not taken. PHOTO: FILE Afzal Kohistani requests reopening of case; fears bloody feud if judicial action not taken. PHOTO: FILE

KOHISTAN: The Kohistan video scandal took a new turn after Afzal Kohistani requested the reopening of the case, and told The Express Tribune on Sunday that if the matter was not decided through court, a bloody feud may stretch for years between the Azadkhel and Salehkhel tribes.

In May 2012, Kohistani, a native of Kohistan district in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, approached local media agencies with the information that a local jirga of his area had condemned to death five girls of the Azadkhel tribe and two boys of the Salehkhel tribe for clapping and singing at a local wedding held in March 2012. Such mingling with the opposite gender was said to go against the tribal customs of the area.

Kohistani later claimed that the four girls seen in the video, along with a teenage girl who was also present at the scene, were killed on May 30 in accordance with the tribal decree.

Upon this revelation, the Supreme Court took suo motu notice and sent a fact finding mission to the area on June 4 that reported back that the women were alive. When the commission met Molvi Javed, the head of the jirga, it was informed that no killings had taken place. Following this finding, the case was abruptly disposed of.

However, Kohistani said that jirga authorities presented similar-looking girls to the commission which deluded court authorities into believing that the girls were alive.

On January 4, Kohistani told The Express Tribune that his three brothers Shah Faisal, Safi ud Din and Sher Wali were killed during an attack by over a dozen armed men from the Azadkhel tribe. He said that his brothers were involved in the video too, and the jirga had ordered their death as well.

As per the tribal culture of Kohistan, whenever both men and women are condemned to death for violation of tribal culture, the men are punished before woman. But in this case, the women were murdered first as the accused boys went into hiding, said Kohistani. He said that since he was poor, “no one listened to him”. But it has now proved that the tribal custom has claimed eight lives of innocent people who did not commit an act that could be described as against the Islamic or penal laws.

Published in The Express Tribune, January 7th, 2013.

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Reader Comments (8)

  • Aijaz Haider
    Jan 7, 2013 - 11:22AM

    Clapping and singing of children at wedding ceremonies is not a crime. Eight innocent people have been killed for an innocuous act of children. What kind of jirga would order this killing? I fail to understand the tribal custom. Very sad indeed.


  • ABC
    Jan 7, 2013 - 12:17PM

    When are we going to get rid of this tribal system?


  • iLiberal
    Jan 7, 2013 - 12:25PM

    Every single person on that jirga ought to be put to death. Is this what Islam teaches them? No wonder it is considered a violent and barbaric religion.


  • Farrukh khan
    Jan 7, 2013 - 4:36PM

    The jirga must be given the same punishment CJ should provide justice


  • ali
    Jan 7, 2013 - 5:33PM

    Is there any responsible person in KP govt? Or they are there only to enjoy the perks??


  • Hussain
    Jan 7, 2013 - 7:08PM

    The DIG, SP and DSP are also culprits. They should also be brought to justice, indeed they were trying to under cover this case in the very beginning.
    Justice for the poors killed.


  • farooq
    Jan 12, 2013 - 4:48PM

    ISLAM has nothing to do with the barbaric custom of this area desist from using these words


  • farooq
    Jan 12, 2013 - 4:53PM

    barbaric customs are followed in this area . Islam has nothing to do with this . Se KHAPS in india are indulging in same way . hindu religon also denounces such acts


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