Tuesday April 23, 2024

SC disposes of Kohistan video case

January 03, 2019

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court (SC) Wednesday disposed of the plea pertaining to the Kohistan video scandal and directed the petitioner to approach the Peshawar High Court (PHC) to include terror clauses in the case.

A three-member bench headed by Chief Justice Saqib Nisar resumed hearing of the suo motu case pertaining to the six years old Kohistan video scandal that led to the murder of five women on the directives of a Jirga.

During the proceedings, the additional attorney general informed the court that the video regarding the Kohistan scandal was not fake. He said Shamsuddin, who was main accused in the case and responsible for the incident, had been murdered while nine others were in custody.

Meanwhile, the petitioner requested the court to transfer the trial from Kohistan to Abbottabad and pleaded to add terrorism clause in the case. However, the apex court directed him to approach the PHC for further remedy and wrapped up the case. In May 2012, Afzal Kohistani had uploaded a video on social media showing his brothers dancing at a programme, with some girls singing and clapping. After the video got leaked, a Jirga was held by the girls tribe which issued a decree for the killing of the boys and girls. Afzal, whose brothers were shown in the video, appealed to a court that the five girls — Bazgha, Sireen Jan, Amna, Begum Jan and Shaheen — who had taken them to the programme, had been killed on the order of the Jirga.

Former Chief Justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Chaudhry had taken a suo motu notice of the case on June 7, 2012 and constituted a fact-finding mission on July 17, 2012 to investigate the case. The commission visited Kohistan and presented its report to the Supreme Court on July 20, 2017, which stated that the girls were alive. One of the commission members, Dr Farzana Bari expressed her doubts that the girls, which were produced before them clad in burqa and veil, were not the ones which were shown in the video. On January 3, 2013, Afzal’s three brothers named Shah Faisal, Sher Wali and Raffiduddin were killed inside their homes. Meanwhile, Farzana Bari with the help of human rights activists and Afzal had got some tests conducted to ensure that the girls were the same, but the results suggested otherwise. When the case was appealed to be reopened, the apex court ordered Nadra to match fingerprints and CNICs. The tests came back negative. On July 31, 2018, a new case was registered at the Palas Police Station on the Supreme Court’s orders. Four suspects, namely Umar Khan, Saber, Mohammad Sarfraz and Saeer were arrested. Upon interrogation, the suspects confessed to killing three girls Begum Jan, Sireen Jan and Bazgha by firing, saying they disposed the bodies in Nala Chorh.