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Woman from Khairpur flees jirga decision over ‘murder case’

KARACHI: A woman and her children from Khairpur have arrived in Karachi to seek justice against a jirga’s decision on her husband’s alleged murder that took place in March last year.

According to Habibullah Shar’s widow Zohra Abbas, he was murdered on March 2, 2006 in Goth Nangar Khan Shar, Khairpur, and the family has since then been trying to have his alleged killers arrested through proper legal channels. However, a jirga took place this January, following which the family claims feudal landlords from their area have been pressuring them to drop the case. The jirga also allegedly ran the family out of town and seized their five-acre plot of land.

Zohra and her children (Faheem Ahmed, 18, Ahmed Ali, 12, Zarina, nine) and two of her brothers Sarang Shar and Abbas Shar have begun their appeal for help outside the Karachi press club.

According to Zohra, her husband Habibullah was killed before he could testify in court over a property dispute involving his step brothers, Muhammad Hassan and Mehram Ali, and step sister Zehra. Zehra was killed allegedly by her brothers as she had refused to give up her claim to property. Habibullah was scheduled to appear in court to testify in this case on March 4, 2006.

Two days before he was scheduled to appear, according to Zohra, on March 2, at around 3pm Habibullah’s step brothers, Muhammad Hassan and Mehram Ali, came to the house and took him to an autaq or ‘sitting place’ to discuss the matter. “When Habibullah didn’t turn up by 5pm my sons Fahim and Ahmed Ali went to call him,” she said. “They saw

Habibullah’s] step brothers coercing him into drinking a cup of tea. When Habibullah saw his sons he screamed at them to go back, saying that his step brothers were trying to poison him.”

Habibullah died at 8pm that day and he was buried the next morning.

“First we went to the police station in Faiz Ghanj but the police did not listen to us,” said Zohra. “Then we went to the sessions court in Khairpur where we submitted an application in which we requested the court to issue an order to the police to register an FIR.”

Then, they moved the High Court Branch Sukkur and on court’s order 13 July, 2006, the doctor’s team exhumed the grave and carried out an autopsy. Eight months have been passed but the autopsy report has not been issued, she claimed.

“Ghulam Nabi Shar, Qaim Din Shar, Karim Din Shar and other feudal lords called a jirga in the village this January but no one from my family was called and all the killers were invited,” claimed Zohra. After the jirga, two persons were dispatched to Zohra to warn her to withdraw her petition in the high court within fifteen days. “The jirga also expelled my family from the Shar community and our five-acre plot was also seized,” Zohra claimed.

The family then fled their village over night and reached Thari Mirwah, some 50 kilometers away, where her brothers Sarang Shar and Abbas Shar live. However, Zohra’s brothers had also been similarly warned. The family then fled to Karachi.

Source: Daily Times

Date:2/23/2007

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