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ISLAMABAD: Four people, including three of a family, were killed and two others injured during a Jirga held between two groups of Afghan nationals to settle a marriage dispute in the Golra locality of the capital on Thursday.

Police said an Afghan girl living in Peshawar had eloped with a countryman and came to his residence at Sadat Colony in Golra and started living with him. Her family later traced her whereabouts and asked the in-laws’ family to return her.

The two families held negotiations, during which the girl’s family agreed to the marriage, but only in exchange for a payment by the family of the husband.

“The two families decided that the money would be paid during a Jirga before the marriage ceremony, which was to be held on Sunday. The family of the girl made an assurance that they would not harm anyone.”


Two Afghan families were holding a jirga when a gunfight broke out


The Jirga was attended by the girl’s brothers and the family members of the man. During the proceedings, however, the girl’s brothers opened fire on the wedding party.

The man’s family also retaliated and as a result six people from both the sides suffered bullet injures. Later, three of them - Dawood, 22, (with whom the girl had eloped), his mother Zerguna, 45, and sister Robina, 18, - died on the spot.

Besides, one of the girl’s brothers, Ajmal, was also killed.

A police official told Dawn that local police received information when the Jirga turned violent. “But the police did not act until they received another call about the injured.”

The police took a long time to reach the spot, which allowed the gunmen from the girl’s family to escape, he said.

“It seems that they also managed to take away their sister as her whereabouts could not be ascertained after the incident.”

Another police official, on condition of anonymity said, “the man’s family was residing in Islamabad but it was yet to be established if the girl’s family also lived in the city or not.”

On the basis of information collected from the people of the area, a majority of them Afghan nationals, the girl’s family was living in Peshawar and she had disappeared from there.

Nearly all members of the man’s family were either killed or injured and admitted to hospital.

The Golra station house officer Chaudhry Mohammad Aslam, could not be reached for comment over the delayed response by the police.

Duty officer Sub-Inspector Ramzi, when contacted, said “I am in hospital and have got no details about the incident.”

Published in Dawn, March 25th, 2016