August 29th, 2020
By Umar Bacha
Last year, two women and two men were killed in the Kohistan Lowe and Lotar area of Upper Kohistan merely for talking to each other. Many similar cases of honor killing have been reported from Kohistan. Now the government has finally taken notice.
In Lower Kohistan district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, for the first time in history, a large jirga was organized by the police and the district administration to prevent honor killings and other outdated rituals. The Jirga was attended by people from all walks of life including local scholars such as Maulana Karim Dad, Chairman DRC Lower Kohistan, and Maulana Israr and youth activists.
Addressing the Jirga, the scholars said that the biggest sin in Islam is killing someone. If someone killed a human being, it was as if he killed the whole of humanity.
Talking about women’s rights, the local youth said that sending women to the mountains to work for them and not giving them their rights is also a crime and can be termed as abuse.
According to the police, the three districts of Kohistan have lost many lives to honor killings. However, the government has launched an awareness campaign to curb honor killings.
The participants of the Jirga said that the main reason for the honor killings was underage engagements, denial of rights to women, and domestic violence. The police urged scholars to raise public awareness.
In 2012, a video surfaced in Kohistan Palace in which women were clapping while two boys were dancing. That video has caused the murder of 10 people so far.
The participants of the Jirga termed the killing in the name of honor as un-Islamic and against local culture and pledged to play their role in preventing it.