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Kohistan ‘killings’ case: ‘Condemned’ women most likely had NICs

KOHISTAN: The possibility of documentary evidence in the Kohistan ‘killing’ case is likely to aid a second fact-finding mission scheduled to visit Peech Bela union council on Saturday, sources told The Express Tribune on Friday.

Sources said that 80% of married women and men of the the Azadkhel tribe have NICs and are the beneficiaries of the Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP) and Watan cards.

Since having an NIC is a prerequisite for the BISP and Watan cards, the tribesmen from Azadkhel and two other tribes had allowed 159 women to apply for NICs when NADRA’s mobile team visited Seertaiy village in May-June last year, they added.

According to sources, the mobile team issued the women manual receipts. However, it is yet to be ascertained whether they were issued ID cards or not.

On the other hand, Muhammad Afzal, the brother of the two men detained by local police for filming the footage, reiterated that the women have been murdered. He added that the killings could be confirmed through the women’s NADRA, BISP and Watan card records.

Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Information Minister Mian Iftikhar Hussain is also reported to have reached Kohistan for the second time in the past two weeks to prove reports of the killing as false.

On June 7, the Supreme Court assigned the task of probing the reports of the murder of five women to a judicial commission, headed by Additional District Judge Swabi Muneera Abbasi.

The commission will submit its report to the court on June 20, sources said.

Earlier a fact-finding mission, comprising four activists, had visited Kohistan and informed the Supreme Court that they met two of the five ‘condemned’ women, namely Shaheen and Amina.

However, Dr Farzana Bari, a member of the fact-finding mission, retracted from her earlier comments and said that she met only one of the girls who resembled a girl in the footage.

Similarly, another member of the commission Riffat Butt said that since the men of their families did not have ID cards, she was unable to confirm whether the women she met were the ones in the video.

The Express Tribune