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Eyewitnesses’ deny killing of Kohistan women

MANSEHRA: Seven persons, three of them stated to be eyewitnesses to five women’s alleged killing in Pales area of Kohistan on jirga orders, on Monday expressed ignorance about the alleged killings and the alleged holding of the jirga for issuance of the killing decree for singing and dancing in a mixed marriage function.

Mohammad Afzal, who ‘broke’ the news of jirga decree and later that of the five women’s killing, had named seven people as eyewitnesses to the holding of jirga and killing of women.

The alleged eyewitnesses were produced before the senior civil judge, Kohistan.After recording statements with the court, eyewitnesses Safer Salar, Qadam Khan and Zaib Hayyat said they were completely ignorant about any incident in which five women were killed on jirga’s orders.

“Mr Afzal tells a lie when he says we are eyewitnesses to the killings. We live too faraway from the village inhabited by the said women. We say on oath that we have neither witnessed the killing of women nor do we know whether they are dead or alive,” said Mr Qadam.

Maulvi Mohammad Javed, Mohammad Jehangir, Masoom Khan and Noorul Haq, who were alleged to be members of the jirga, which announced the death decree, told the court that no jirga meeting had taken place in the area where a decree to kill women or anyone else was issued.

In a related development in the day, elders of Salakhel tribe have sought the help of a former nazim of Puttan tehsil to end their enmity with those of Azadkhel tribe and warned that if enmity didn’t end, their rivals could kill Afzal for breaking the false news of the women’s killings.

Dawn

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