Khalida Niaz

PESHAWAR: Five people, including two women, were killed in the name of honour in Tirah valley of Khyber tribal district last month.

First time in history of Khyber district, cases of honour killing incidents were registered, which is termed by experts the fruit of merger of erstwhile Fata with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

In the first week of May, a woman and two male schoolteachers were killed on charges of having illicit relations. The second incident happened in last week of May in which a man having six children was killed along with a 40-year-old woman after being accused of adultery. Some sources said the slain man had a property dispute with the woman’s relatives, and this is the outcome of that dispute.

Police said they have filed the first information reports (FIRs) on their own and one main accused along with some facilitators behind the honour killing incidents have been arrested.

Local social activist Daulat Khan Afridi said such incidents happened in the past too, but were not reported as the jirga system under the previous FCR law used to settle such disputes, but now after merger of erstwhile Fata with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, police are doing their jobs and such incidents are coming into knowledge of the entire world.

Nosheen Fatima, a women’s rights activist from Orakzai, said honour killings is a problem which is not confined to merged districts, rather this problem exists in the entire country. She told TNN that honour killings are justified in some segments of the society and used to fulfil personal and political ends.

“We lived in Pakistan without a law for 70 years and were governed under the British-era Frontier Crimes Regulation which provided no rights, particularly to women, but now the situation is improving after the merger,” she said.

Nosheen Fatima said several such incidents happened in merged districts in which people were killed and latter on the deceased was accused of adultery so that no one raises question over it under the tribal traditions. Only during 2019-20, as many as 475 women and 361 men have been killed for ‘honour’ in KP.

Nosheen Fatima said she had always been supporter of merger as now a judicial system is working in the area and after registration of police FIRs, the whole country knows what is going on in that area. She however lamented that most culprits in honour killings escape due to weak prosecution. She said the government should pursue the cases related to honour killings to provide justice to them.

Daulat Khan said that after the merger the people are now wary of doing anything illegal as they know that in doing so they would be caught by the law enforcers.

Station House Officer (SHO) Tirah Police Station Shamshad said police takes action whenever it comes to know about any illegality. He said police have taken initiative to file FIRs because people generally avoid filing such FIRs due to cultural issues. He said police needs cooperation from public to stop such incidents.

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