LANDI KOTAL, Dec 8: The Khyber Agency coordinator of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan was gunned down in Jamrud on Thursday.
Sources said two gunmen riding a motorcycle opened fire on Zarteef Khan Afridi while he was on his way to a government school where he worked as headmaster. He was taken to the Jamrud civil hospital but died of the wounds.
Family sources said the deceased had been receiving threats because he was opposed to Taliban activities in tribal areas and supported women’s rights.
Zarteef Khan took a courageous step during the general election of 1997 when he allowed womenfolk of his family to cast their vote after.
He is survived by four daughters, two sons and a widow.
Abdullah Ezaam Brigade took responsibility for the murder.
The HRCP condemned the killing of Zarteef Khan and called upon the government to arrest his killers and address growing threats facing human rights activists in the region.
“The HRCP is grieved at the murder of Zarteef Afridi in Khyber Agency. Zarteef was a tireless human rights defender who dedicated his life to promoting human rights, tolerance and peace in a region beset with conflict. Repeated threats to his life had failed to deter him from his work. In his death, civil society has lost a committed campaigner for the cause of human rights.
“Zarteef’s murder also underscores the escalating threats that those working for human rights face in Pakistan, particularly in the tribal areas.”