Kohistan video scandal

One gets death sentence, 4 imprisoned for life

BISHAM (Online): A district and sessions court in Dasu sentenced one suspect to death in the Kohistan video scandal case and sentenced four more to life imprisonment and 200,000 rupees fine, media reported on Thursday.
District & Session Judge, Sardar Muhammad Irshad Khan held hearing of the case and accused Mukhtasir was awarded capital punishment under section 302 of the constitution while Maulana Yadool, Shamas-ud-din, Taos, Janta Zair and Awal Khan were sentenced life imprisonment in connection with abetment.
The Ulema of the Palas area of Kohistan had issued decree to murder five girls that appeared in the controversial video and five brothers of Afzal Kohistani.
On January 4, Kohistani told media that his three brothers Shah Faisal, Safi ud Din and Sher Wali were killed during an attack by over a dozen armed men from the Azad khel tribe.
He said that his brothers were involved in the video too, and the Jirga had ordered their death as well.
In May 2012, Kohistani had informed media that a local Jirga of his area had condemned to death five girls of the Azad khel tribe and two boys of the Saleh khel tribe for clapping and singing at a local wedding held in March 2012.
Such mingling with the opposite gender was said to go against the tribal customs of the area.
Kohistani later claimed that the four girls seen in the video, along with a teenage girl who was also present at the scene, were killed on May 30 in accordance with the tribal decree.
Upon this revelation, the Supreme Court took suo motu notice and sent a fact finding mission to the area on June 4 that reported back that the women were alive.
When the commission met Molvi Javed, the head of the Jirga, it was informed that no killings had taken place.
Following this finding, the case was abruptly disposed of.
Bari had added a dissenting note and had expressed reservations over the findings of the inquiry commission.
However, while closing the case, then-Chief Justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Chaudhry stated in his closing order that if and when Bari can produce additional evidence, the case may be taken up again.
However, Kohistani had said that Jirga authorities presented similar-looking girls to the commission which deluded court authorities into believing that the girls were alive.

“There was no identity verification of the women presented, nor was there any DNA test taken that proves that the women in the video were the same that were presented before the court,” she said.

Bari said that after reading about the murder of the two men in the same video and compiling documents and reports which they shared with the media regarding the case, she is sure that the women had been killed.
Bari had also filed a petition for the reopening of the case last year, which was rejected by the apex court.

As per the tribal culture of Kohistan, whenever both men and women are condemned to death for violation of tribal culture, the men are punished before woman.
But in this case, the women were murdered first as the accused boys went into hiding, Kohistani had said. He had added that since he was poor, “no one listened to him”. But it has now proved that the tribal custom has claimed eight lives of innocent people who did not commit an act that could be described as against the Islamic or penal laws.

Afzal Kohistani, a native of Kohistan district in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa who had previously approached the media with information on this case, had requested that it be reopened, and told on January 26 that if the matter was not decided through court, a bloody feud may stretch for years between the Azad khel and Saleh khel tribes.

Human rights activist Dr Farzana Bari, who was one of the three members of the committee formed by the Supreme Court to look into this case, had also requested that the Supreme Court reopen the case, which she says has taken a new turn.

Bari claims to have evidence that the four women who appeared in video may have already been murdered.



M/S Invar holding Inc to invest in Pakistan

ISLAMABAD, Jan 30 (Online): Invar International Holding, Inc has decided to invest in energy sector particularly in Thar coal gasification and held a meeting with Chairman Board of Investment to finalize preliminary issues.

Alexander Razinski, Chairman and Peter Strouzas, Research & Development Manager of M/s Invar International Holding, Inc. USA Corporation met with Special Assistant to Prime Minister and Chairman Board of Investment, Dr. Miftah Ismail and Secretary BOI, Ian Afzal Cheema here on Thursday.

Alexander Razinski informed the chairman BOI that Invar International Holding, Inc. is a privately held Virginia, USA Corporation that through its subsidiaries, invests in and develops energy infrastructure projects and provides investment management and consulting services for international business transactions, specializing in the energy sector and project finance.

Invar recently completed its work on the first two privately-owned power plants in Moscow, Russia, which it developed in partnership with Zorlu Enerji Group, he told.

Chairman BOI said that Pakistan has reserves of 175billion metric tons of coal at Thar Coal and 100, 000 MW energy can be produced for the next 200 years. He said that investment in Gaddani power project is priority of the present government.

The coal gasification will bring clean fuel, power and jobs in Pakistan. Investment in energy sector is the priority of Prime Minister of Pakistan Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif to bridge the gap of demand and supply which is now more than 6000 megawatt.
Secretary BOI highlighted the investment policy and incentives offered in the special economic zones of Pakistan.


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