Militant mail: Elders asked to kill or hand over ‘immoral’ woman

Published: August 30, 2013
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Through resolute, Reshma said they are too poor to abandon their home in Sheikhan village. PHOTO: FILE

Through resolute, Reshma said they are too poor to abandon their home in Sheikhan village. PHOTO: FILE

PESHAWAR: 

Elders in Sheikhan village near the border of Akka Khel, Khyber Agency have received their third letter in less than two months, warning them to either kill a local woman accused of ‘ill character’ or hand her over to Lashkar-e-Islam (LI).

The letters were sent to an Afghan prayer leader and directly addresses village elders, blaming Reshma* for immoral behaviour. In them, militants have asked villagers to hand over the married woman if they cannot kill her, saying LI will ‘take care of her.’

Fearing for their own safety, village elders are unable to decide what to do. They summoned Reshma’s husband and handed him the letters, which he then took and quietly left.

The elders, however, know the house of the accused woman is just a stone’s throw from Khyber Agency and the militants can come take her away at any time. Fortunately, they have agreed to not obey the instructions of militants to kill her. “We cannot kill people for them,” said an elder requesting anonymity.

On the other hand, Reshma said her only crime is answering the door when her husband, who is a government employee, is away at work. “I have eight children and am at least 45 years old. I‘m no longer a girl, but even then they have been after me since the past few months,” she added.

“I am not a woman of bad character, but these militants are creating trouble for us and we suspect the involvement of our neighbours in this. My husband has already vowed to resist any such attempt to hand me over to Lashkar-e-Islam.”

Through resolute, Reshma said they are too poor to abandon their home in Sheikhan village and move to Peshawar or some other area.

Reshma’s 15-year-old son Farooq said the letters were hand-written in Urdu and contained a telephone number. He added they were sent by militant commander Faqir Muhammad of Khyber Agency.

“We cannot talk to anyone about it as it is a great shame for the entire family for a woman to be blamed of bad character. But we are equally worried our house could be attacked and my mother could be killed or taken away by militants,” he said.

*Name has been changed to protect identity

Published in The Express Tribune, July 30th, 2013.

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Reader Comments (17)

  • 357
    Aug 30, 2013 - 1:21AM

    “The elders, however, know the house of the accused woman is just a stone’s throw from Khyber Agency…”

    Not funny, ET.

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  • Mj
    Aug 30, 2013 - 12:04PM

    Law of the jungle, or should I say law of the desert?

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  • citizen
    Aug 30, 2013 - 12:07PM

    this cannot be true ! seriously this is absurdity of militants at best . They just deserve drones . I miss my Pakistan . we do not want such people to create state within the state.

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  • MA
    Aug 30, 2013 - 5:35PM

    Can any of the readers help the poor women get out of that God forsaken place? Can Express Tribune assist in providing contact details of the victim? She would probably be brutally killed if no one can help …

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  • Oh really?
    Aug 30, 2013 - 5:44PM

    Hey Guys, you still wanna talk?

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  • Aug 30, 2013 - 6:32PM

    Rogues and cowards, have threatened a women with eight children. Drone strikes is only answer to these beasts.

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  • Raza
    Aug 30, 2013 - 6:38PM

    These thugs are just terrorists who should be exterminated. But hey lets talk to them.

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  • Syed
    Aug 30, 2013 - 6:55PM

    Someone please help this family!!!!

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  • Ghani
    Aug 30, 2013 - 6:55PM

    Sharia Law at work!

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  • Uzair
    Aug 30, 2013 - 8:10PM

    Lets “talk” to these “brave, misunderstood warriors” i.e. surrender our territory to stone age mentality thugs. Right, Imran Khan/PTI?

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  • Insaan
    Aug 30, 2013 - 8:33PM

    On the other hand, Reshma said her only crime is answering the door when her husband, who is a government employee, is away at work.

    Praise God, Sharia at work in the land of pure.

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  • Qureshi
    Aug 30, 2013 - 8:52PM

    Something doesn’t fit here. We have been told many a times in the past that one of the greatest obstacles in conducting operations in tribal areas are attitudes of the tribal people. Purportedly, tribal people say they can’t take part in or allow any military action to be taken against any of their people, which now include many foreign fighters. Plus, tribes lay special emphasis on safeguarding sanctity and dignity of their women. Is this lady not one of their own? She’s been threatened for many months, yet tribes have not stood up to the aggressors. Tribes should have already declared war on the militants for being so audacious so as to threaten tribal people with two conditions!

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  • ConantheContrarian
    Aug 30, 2013 - 10:01PM

    Wait a minute. I might not have the whole story here, but someone knocked on this woman’s door, and then she answered it. And because she answered the door, she is considered to be a woman of ill character. Who knocked on the door? Was that person putting this woman in jeopardy by doing so? The husband works for the government; where is the government in all this? The government should be kicking butts and taking names. Gee whiz, I cannot wait for Islam to come to North America so that we can enjoy this kind of vibrant diversity and tolerance.

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  • ft
    Aug 30, 2013 - 10:18PM

    as simple as it. These guys are eyeing this woman. Since they can’t get her they r accusing her & paving way to abduct her and sexually assault her

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  • Mick Psyphon
    Aug 30, 2013 - 10:36PM

    What kind of backwards savagery tries to pass itself off as a modern, ‘civilized’ society, when it treats women like chattel? Worse, even!!! Ostensibly, they want to kill her because she opened the door to her home when her husband was away (at work). No reasonable human being would accept that excuse. There is definitely an ulterior motive for this. Either these islamic militants have a beef with her husband, or maybe one (or more) of the islamic militants attempted to force themselves on her (and she resisted). In which case said islamic militants should kill themselves for shaming themselves, shaming her and shaming humanity.

    Only when the people begin to stand up against the likes of these arrogant, greedy and criminal islamic militants will the wold become a better place. They are a plague on this planet; and they kill everywhere they go.

    Wake up, people! Know your enemy, because he’s knocking at your door.

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  • IceSoul
    Aug 30, 2013 - 11:20PM

    @Gureshi: The tribal leadership has been decimated in the last decade and anyway, no tribe is strong enough to fight these groups (under the umbrella of the TTP). A combination of fear and brainwashing has now rendered the tribals helpless against these terrorists.

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  • Sid
    Aug 31, 2013 - 2:42AM

    CAN ANYONE HEAR THIS PLEA!!! we all know that this poor women will be killed sooner than later. Please if anyone can help or ask the authorities to look in to this matter do it. I live too far away to be of any use.
    well wait who am i kidding, off course no one is going to help, THIS IS PAKISTAN!!
    I apologize for the emotional outburst.

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