A teenage girl was reportedly murdered by her relatives allegedly on the orders of a tribal jirga in Khyber Agency on Friday, in what the local political administration said was a case of 'honour' killing.
The jirga had issued the orders to kill 13-year-old Naghma after it emerged that she had allegedly attempted to run away with two young men, an official said.
After she allegedly ran away with them, the boys abandoned Naghma during the journey "out of fear". She was later taken into custody by the security forces and released on bail upon assurance by the girl's relatives that they would not kill her, Assistant Political Agent Niaz Mohammad told local reporters.
However, despite their assurances, Naghma's relatives shot her dead three days later inside a house in Landi Kotal tehsil and silently buried her body in a local graveyard.
A local government official told this scribe on condition of anonymity that the girl's killer is in the custody of the political administration.
Meanwhile, a journalist belonging to Khyber Agency claimed that the two boys who allegedly ran away with the girl are in the custody of the same jirga. He claimed that the boys' relatives will make every effort to secure their freedom, but it is possible that they too will be killed on the jirga's orders.
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Governor Iqbal Zafar Jhagra has sought a report into the incident from the political agent. He said the teenage girl's murder was contrary to human rights.
The National Assembly earlier this year passed a bill giving legal and constitutional cover to the centuries old jirga and panchayat systems in the country with a view to ensure speedy resolution of petty civil matters and reduce the burden of litigations on the courts.
Hundreds of women are murdered every year in Pakistan, often by their own relatives, for going against their families' wishes in matters of love and marriage.
The perpetrators of so-called honour killings often walk free because they can seek forgiveness for the crime from another family member.
The Aurat Foundation’s annual report of 2016 showed 7,852 cases of violence against women.
According to Saima Munir, who works for the Aurat Foundation, there has been a 70 per cent increase in honour killings in the past year.