THE Supreme Court has taken suo motu notice of the Kohistan incident and sought a report from the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa chief secretary, commissioner and DIG of Hazara division besides the Kohistan DPO. A local jirga had [allegedly] sentenced five girls to death for clapping while two boys were dancing during a marriage ceremony. The girls were allegedly killed on the orders of the jirga but the administration and the ulema accused of issuing the decree denied any such incident. The Supreme Court ordered that the girls, if alive, should be produced in court under protective custody.

It is an open secret that the office-bearers of NGOs that thrive on foreign funding are in the habit of distorting facts and exploiting such incidents to tarnish the image of Pakistan at internationally. Those who are an authority on the local traditions of Kohistan also denied any such happening. The former nazim of Kohistan has clarified there is no tradition in the area that is contrary to the injunctions of Islam. The inhabitants of the remote areas of Pakistan and the residents of urban Kohistan seek guidance of the ulema on complicated issues. And the ulema always advise them to strictly follow the constitution, laws, rules and regulations of Pakistan while remaining within the ambit of the Sharia. ...The people who had levelled the allegations could not provide any documentary proof nor did the local administration find any concrete evidence regarding the alleged killing of the girls. The Kohistan DCO has termed the news baseless that a jirga pronounced the death sentence… According to the DCO, two among the four ‘convicted’ girls are married … one is living with her husband in Mansehra while the other is in Muzaffarabad …—(June 21)

Selected and translated by Zaheer Mahmood Siddiqui.

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