For the first time in the history of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata), the controversial Fata Tribunal on Friday took notice of a matter pertaining to the region.
The tribunal, which has already been challenged at the Peshawar High Court (PHC) by the Fata lawyers forum, took suo motu notice of the killing of Shehnaz Isthiaq, a school teacher gunned down in Jamrud, Khyber Agency.
Ishtiaq, a resident of Kohati Gate area, was intercepted and shot by unknown gunmen while she was on her way to school along with her son on Tuesday morning. Locals said she received several bullet injuries and was shifted by the school’s owner, Malik Khanwali, to Hayatabad Medical Complex in critical condition. She succumbed to her wounds after three hours of surgery.
On Friday, the Fata tribunal took notice of the issue and summoned Tehsildar Jamrud to appear before the court on April 2 and present all relevant records.
Tribunal’s assistant registrar Gulnaz said the tribunal has taken notice of the issue under Section 55 of the Frontier Crimes Regulation (FCR), adding the assistant political agent of Jamrud has also been directed to appear before the court.
“The tribunal has asked the political administration to bring all the details, including the investigation conducted into the case so far, on April 2,” she said.
Ishtiaq was the headmistress of Community Girls School in Shahkas. Prior to that, she was working for a government primary school for girls in Bara, but because of security problems the school was shifted to Shahkas in Jamrud.
On Thursday, UN Special Envoy for Global Education, Gordon Brown strongly condemned the killing of Ishtiaq and wrote to President Asif Ali Zardari calling for heightened security measures to protect female students and teachers. The former British prime minister said he “feared a wave of threats, intimidation, burnings and bullets” following the killing of the 41-year-old teacher. “No one should be shot for wanting to go to school or wanting to teach girls.”
Published in The Express Tribune, March 30th, 2013.