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PTI Worker Instigated North Waziristan ‘Honour’ Killings, Remains At Large

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A Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) worker Badhshai Khan who had reportedly instigated the ‘honour’ killing of two teenage sisters in North Waziristan, over a viral video that was deemed ‘objectionable, remains at large five days after the incident. Khan had gone live on Facebook a week before the murder, denouncing the leaked video as an ‘attack on tribal values’. He had also said that the demand for 3G and 4G internet connection in the tribal areas is being made by the [same] people who want to bring ‘dishonour’ to the Pashtun culture.

Badshahi Khan had called on all tribes to restore their ‘honour’ by killing those who had ‘brought dishonour to our traditions’. The video inciting violence against the victims is still available on his Facebook page and has more than a thousand shares.

Even after the incident was reported by national and international media, Badshahi Khan’s Facebook page remains active where he continues to post videos repeating what he had said about the girls before their murder. In a recent video, he also congratulated the ‘honourable’ Pashtun for carrying out the killings.

In this video posted yesterday, he ‘salutes’ the ‘honurable’ Pashtuns [who killed the two sisters].

Badshahi Khan’s links with PTI

According to a Waziristan journalist who requested anonymity, Badshahi Khan is an influential person of the area and has close contacts with the ruling party. His brother Afsar Khan was a PTI candidate in the polls held in tribal areas last year after the FATA-KP merger. Afsal Khan is an active member of PTI South Waziristan.

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When Imran Khan visited the region in 2012 for a ‘peace march’ to Waziristan against US drone attacks, he had visited Badshahi Khan’s house in DI Khan. Local sources told Naya Daur that Badshahi Khan also often worked as a ‘tout’ for the powers-that-be and he would also challenge the tribal heads due to his links with political parties as well as the establishment. A local journalist further revealed that his links with Afghan Taliban are also well-known.

FIR does not name the instigator

Meanwhile, the FIR of the incident registered on Sunday does not name Badshahi Khan. On Monday, four men accused of killing the two sisters including the father and brother of the victims were arrested by the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) police following registration of the FIR. However, the prime accused namely Muhammad Aslam and others who may have been involved in the crime managed to escape. The total number of accused and facilitators of the murder is uncertain as killings in the name of ‘honour’ in tribal societies are usually committed after a collective decision among tribal heads.

The video that led to the murder of the two sisters showed a third girl who is married to Muhammad Aslam. A local reporter privy to the details of the incident told Naya Daur that the accused Muhammad Aslam took his wife (the third girl from the video) along while fleeing the area. Since the surviving girl is in the captivity of the same accused who murdered the two sisters, her life remains in danger.

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Former Awami National Party (ANP) MNA Bushra Gohar said that she was concerned about the security of the third girl. “Her security must be ensured by the government at the earliest”, she told Naya Daur. Gohar further said that both murders should be treated as crimes against the state to prevent a settlement within the family.

Further, Bushra Gohar said that the person who incited violence against the women must also be arrested and charged. “Such heinous crimes against women must not be justified under the garb of tribal honour, culture and religion,” she said.

Local police officials of North Waziristan did not immediately respond to Naya Daur‘s request for comment.

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Naya Daur