- Four women and two men attended a relatives party in the Sirtay Village of Kohistan, Pakistan two months ago. They allegedly sang and danced together to folk music in front of one who could marry (single people).
- An unscrupulous relative took video with his phone and sent it to the women’s family.
- The Jirga or tribal council, was convened. They declared them Ghul (fornicators and perverts) and sentenced them all to death.
- The two young boys, who are brothers, fled. The women were taken by the Jirga and are all locked together (see picture above). It is said they are being starved though the elders in the village said they will not allow any harm to come to them.
The oldest brother of the two accused men, Muhammad Afzal said –
“The jirga did not bother to hear the ‘accused’ and condemned them to death,”
The jirga know that they are wrong because they have raised Rs400,00 in case they’re sued.
They have rounded up 40 young men to execute the condemned six. The men are to be shot first, which will be difficult since they ran off. The women, on the other hand, were shipped back from their in-laws to their parents’ village, and according to Afzal –
“They are tied with ropes. They are being starved.”
Afzal said he doesn’t even think the tape is real. It does not show them dancing together and he has enemies –
“Since our family is affluent and owns vast acres of forestland, orchards and agriculture farms in Bando Baidar village. They (our rivals) hatched a plot to deprive us of our property.”
Abdul Majeed Afridi, the district police officer, agrees with Afzal. The background where the women are singing folk songs is not the same as where the men are seen dancing.
In the meantime, the authorities are doing what they can to make sure the women are not harmed along there is reason to believe the women are not safe.
The Jirga system has been around for about a hundred years and is practiced by the Puktuns in Pakistan (along the border of Afghnistan) and by the Afghans. It is part of a complex system of tribal Islamic law in which they convene a council to provide cheap justice.
There are more Puktuns than Kurds so they are significant in numbers and form about 50 tribes. They arose in areas where there was no government. The sword became the ruler and the ruler used the sword.
As the Taliban moves back into these areas, the situation will get much worse. Numerous rights organizations have asked the Supreme Courts of Pakistan and Afghanistan to ban them.