Rising Honour Killings in Kohistan: A Consequence of Judicial Inefficiency?

postImg

Umar Bacha

loop

Read In Urdu

postImg

Rising Honour Killings in Kohistan: A Consequence of Judicial Inefficiency?

Umar Bacha

loop

Read In Urdu

In Kohistan, a district in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, another tragic incident of 'so-called honour killing' occurred recently. A girl and a boy were shot dead in Burparo village on February 22. Shockingly, it's reported that the boy's body was mutilated afterward.

According to the first information report (FIR) registered at Koz Paro police station on the same date, the police received information that a woman and a man had been killed in the Burparo area. The police found the dead bodies of Obaidullah alias Koko, son of Maulvi Hakeem Khan, and Billo Bibi, daughter of Anjeel, drenched in blood.

As per police sources, the body of the boy was found lying on the snow near the house, whereas the body of the girl was discovered inside the house.

Muhammad Javed, the Station House Officer (SHO) of Police Station Koz Paro, registered the case for this brutal murder. The accused were identified as Muhammad Islam, Sher Baz, the two brothers of the female victim, and their father, Anjeel. The motive cited was alleged illicit relations.

The SHO confirms the incident as an honour killing. Obaidullah, a resident of Ghato Sharakot village, went to meet Billo Bibi in Burparo, where the girl's father Anjeel and brother Muhammad Islam allegedly killed both.

Muhammad Sulaiman) fictitious name (, a close relative of the victim residing in Sharakot, holds the police accountable for negligence in this matter. He alleges that the accused locked the victim in a room and began summoning relatives. During this period, the victim managed to contact the police, but they failed to arrive promptly, resulting in the tragic deaths of both individuals.

Hussain Ahmad, the District Public Prosecutor of Kolai Palas Kohistan, has stated that the three suspects have been apprehended and placed in police custody for a five-day physical remand starting Wednesday.

He acknowledges the surge in honour killings but links it to the widespread use of mobile phones. In Kohistan, the disapproval of interactions between women and men from outside is profound, contributing to such occurrences.

The District Public Prosecutor highlights that in cases of such murders, the First Information Report (FIR) often lacks strength, and finding witnesses willing to testify is challenging. Many individuals in the area sympathize with the accused and oppose their punishment, resulting in acquittals in these cases.

In the span of the last four months, three separate incidents have resulted in the loss of three lives in the isolated district of Kolai Palas, Kohistan. Yet, amidst these tragedies, a unique occurrence occurred as a girl successfully foiled a plan to take her life, ultimately saving herself.

In 2012, the northern district of Kolai Palas Kohistan in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa made headlines due to 'honour killings' after a video went viral showing boys dancing and girls clapping. Regrettably, this incident led to the deaths of four girls.

Subsequently, Afzal Kohistani, who brought this issue to light through media and legal channels, along with his three brothers, were brutally murdered in broad daylight in Abbottabad. Following these killings, the case was essentially shelved. Meanwhile, the two brothers featured in the viral video are still living a sheltered life.

On the condition of anonymity, an official from the Palas police station revealed that last October, the family of a girl purportedly conspired to kill her after witnessing her talking on the phone in Palas. The girl managed to escape and sought refuge at the Palas police station, with the assistance of some other women, in a bid to save her life.

As per the official, individuals attempted to pursue the girl, but the police intervened and safely escorted her to the police station and later to the court. Subsequently, she was relocated to a shelter home for her safety.

The official recounted the details of the second murder, explaining that someone reportedly edited photos of a girl with boys and shared them on Facebook, stemming from a personal dispute. Despite this, the girl's family convened a jirga, resulting in her tragic death. Meanwhile, plans were underway to harm the boy involved, but the police intervened, arresting the suspects and subsequently placing them in jail.

Farzana Bari, who headed the Judicial Commission during the Kohistan video scandal and supported Afzal Kohistani, told Lok Sujag that in these areas, the state's presence is virtually absent, and the judicial system is notably feeble.

She emphasizes that both she and Afzal Kohistani played every conceivable role in the video scandal, which contributed to a partial reduction in the incidence of honour killings in Kohistan.

Also Read

postImg

Rising tide of ‘honour killings’: A persistent tragedy in Swat amid slow justice

Farzana Bari pointed out that the individuals responsible for killing eight people were released from custody a few years ago, reinforcing the notion in the area that these criminals are beyond punishment, regardless of their actions. Consequently, the people of Kohistan are likely to persist in adhering to traditional practices.

"Criminals are released from prison after short periods and often target those who speak out against them, as tragically demonstrated in the case of Afzal Kohistani. Unfortunately, the deficiencies in our judicial system have once again contributed to a rapid rise in such incidents in these regions."

Human rights activist and lawyer Imaan Mazari told Lok Sujag that to curb incidents like honour killings, the state must actively intervene and ensure justice for the victims through amendments in the laws. By securing justice for victims and holding criminals accountable, such incidents can be minimized.

She believes that in addition to implementing laws, we must also work on changing people's mindsets. Taking a human life is never a solution to any problem, and it is crucial to raise awareness about this issue.

According to the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, 103 people were killed in the name of honour in different areas of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in just one year, 2022.

HRCP Chairperson Asad Iqbal Butt demands the state institutions to play their role in ceasing the increasing cases of honour killings in Kohistan and punishing the accused.

Published on 1 Mar 2024

How do you like this report?

thumb
Article

Energy Overhaul: light for our (power) blackouts

Read more

arrow

Amna Javed
thumb
Article

Growth Potential and Constraints in Pakistan’s Electric Vehicle Market

Read more

arrow

Mohammad Bilal
thumb
Article

‘We turned Thal green and now the government is evicting us’

Read more

arrow

Nadeem ShahUser Face
thumb
Article

A High-Stakes Showdown Unfolds over Water Distribution" " The IRSA Ordinance: Sindh-Punjab Rifts Risk Escalating into Conflict"

Read more

arrow

Ashfaq LaghariUser Face
thumb
Article

Meet the 'new owner' of Indus river system! Comparative analysis of IRSA Act 1992 and IRSA Ordinance 2024

Read more

arrow

Abdullah Cheema, Kaleem Ullah
thumb
Article

"There were no masks, the workers put cloths over their mouths to protect their colleagues and went down into the toxic mine"

Read more

arrow

Asim Ahmed KhanUser Face
thumb
Article

Farmers worried despite the new record of wheat cultivation; Presents new challenge for Punjab government

Read more

arrow

Asif RiazUser Face
thumb
Article

Understanding the Surge in onion prices: 6 important facts

Read more

arrow

Asif RiazUser Face
thumb
Article

Rising Honour Killings in Kohistan: A Consequence of Judicial Inefficiency?

Read more

arrow

Umar BachaUser Face

From Fossil Fuels to Batteries: The Electric Vehicle Era

thumb
Article

Reserved seats at the center of ifs and buts of party equations

Read more

arrow

Tahir MehdiUser Face
thumb
Article

Electric Bikes: Empowering Individuals and Combating Climate Change

Read more

arrow

Hina AnwarUser Face
Copyright © 2024. loksujag. All rights reserved.
Copyright © 2024. loksujag. All rights reserved.