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Police yet to launch inquiry into Kohistan video scandal

KOHISTAN: Despite the corroboration of the murder of five women over a video showing them clapping and singing at a wedding in Kohistan last year, the local police have yet to initiate an inquiry into the case. According to police sources, no one is willing to get their statements recorded.

Former Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) MPA and Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) Kohistan chapter general secretary Maulana Dildar Khan told the media last week that five women from the Azadkhel tribe of Palas were murdered on May 30, 2012. A local jirga had earlier condemned the women and two boys of Salehkhel tribe to death over a video showing them clapping and singing at a local wedding in March. The two boys had allegedly recorded the video with their cell phones.

Dildar accused his party’s sitting MPA, Maulana Asmatullah, of hushing up the case because he hails from the same tribe. Asmatullah was also accused of misleading the inquiry commission sent by former chief justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry.

Dildar’s belated disclosure was acknowledged in a jirga held by 27 tribes at a rest house in Pattan, arranged by Pattan Qaumi Tehrik a couple of days ago. Tribal elders from Morjankhel, Begokhel, Boyonkhel, Shamalkhel, Senakhel, Sadmirkhel and others have also endorsed Dildar’s statement.

The jirga demanded the unseating of Maulana Asmatullah, who they claimed has violated the constitutional provisions of Articles 62 and 63 by deliberately cheating the inquiry commission and the Supreme Court (SC). They also demanded a renewed inquiry into the ‘honour killing’ incident and the reopening of the case by the apex court.

However, according to a police source, Kohistan DPO Ali Akbar Khan has already ordered an inquiry with Palas DSP Nazir Khan as the inquiry officer. When approached for comments, Nazir confirmed that although the matter was disposed by the SC last year, the police have reopened investigation, especially following the recent disclosures by Dildar.

“However, despite repeated invitations, neither Maulana Dildar nor the other jirga members are ready to record their statement due to unknown reasons,” shared Nazir. The DSP added that unless they get involved and file a complaint regarding the murders, the police could not initiate legal proceedings against the Azadkhel as the police lack evidence.

Brother of the two deceased boys – Gul Nazir and Bin Yasir – Afzal Kohistani has also demanded the reopening of the case by the SC.

Express Tribune