Honor killings relentless as court rejects report declaring suspects in Landhi case innocent

F.P. Report

KARACHI: On a day when court rejected police report declaring accused in a coldblooded honor killing on country’s Independence Day innocent, another couple fell prey to honor killing in yet another Pashtun neighborhood of Pakistani metropolis of Karachi here on Monday.

Police arrested nine accused in the killing of couple, hailing from Kohistan in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, were said to be relatives of the girl and family where she was engaged.

According to police, the couple named Husna and Hadi, had fled to Karachi from Kohistan after marrying with free-will and settled in Mominabad area in site town of the city.

After killing the couple, they were quietly buried in graveyard in Ittehad Town of the city. Instead of formal funerals, the both girl and boy was put into a bad and buried, police said.

On November 24, the residents of the area spotted blood around the house that had been rented by the couple and reported it to the police.

As police began investigating the case, the victims’ bodies were recovered from the Qaimkhani graveyard in Ittehad Town and sent to Abbasi Shaheed Hospital for a post-mortem examination.

Senior Superintendent of Police Orangi Abid Baloch said police had arrested a suspect who confessed to killing the couple, along with some accomplices, on the orders of a jirga.

Chief Minister Sindh Murad Ali Shah today took notice of the incident and expressed anger over the couple’s murder. “This is Karachi, not a tribal area. How was a jirga held here?” he asked.

CM Shah directed Inspector General (IG) of Police A.D. Khawaja to conduct a thorough investigation and present a detailed report of the incident as soon as possible.

Meanwhile, a local court in Karachi Monday dismissed a police report that declared four suspects innocent for electrocuting a teenage couple to death.

The police report, submitted to the Malir Judicial Magistrate Ateeq-ur-Rehman, had declared suspects Sartaj, Lal Rehman, Taj Muhammad, and Jan Muhammad innocent.

The court issued non-bailable warrants of all four suspects.

Other arrested suspects in the case include the murdered woman’s father Hikmat Taj Khan, the murdered man’s father Muhammad Afzal, and Sher Afzal.

On September 23, the Frontier Post reported that head of the “Mohmand Jirga” that ordered to kill a couple for “dishonoring” their families, had crossed to Kunar on Afghanistan side of the Pak-Afghan border.

Sartaj Khan, a resident of Landhi, who originally hails from the Federally Administered Tribal Area of Mohmand, ran away after the news emerged in a national daily that he has ordered to murder the couple, who made a fail bid to elope.

“Sartaj Khan, who fled Karachi for Rawalpindi, has now managed to cross the border and is living in Kunar area of Afghanistan,” a source told while demanding complete anonymity.

Earlier, Amanullah Marwat, Station House Officer, told media that he had leads that Sartaj Khan might be in Rawalpindi.

A Jirga, comprising of elders of the Mohmand tribe, was held in Landhi area of Karachi after the notorious Sartaj Khan came to know that families of the teenage couple had reached agreement to tie the knot of 17 years old, Ghani Rehman, with 15 years old, Hikmat, from Safi sub-tribe of Mohmand.

According to a report published by a Karachi based journalist, Zia Ur Rehman, a teenage couple accused of violating the Pashtun ‘code of honor’ was murdered with electric shocks on day when country was observing Independence Day.

According to report the murders were executed by family members on the orders of a jirga of elders of the Mohmand tribe.

Initially, according to the report, parents of the couple, after realizing gravity of the issue, agreed on sparing the couple’s life when Rehman’s father, Afzal, accepted demand of Taj, father of the girl Hikmat, to marry his two daughters with men from girls’ family as part of the infamous ‘Swara’ tradition.

When Sartaj Khan, who is said to be closed relative of Omar Khurrasani, spokesperson of the proscribed Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), came to know about the settlement summoned a Jirga and forced the families to kill their dear ones through electric shocks.

The girl’s family responded promptly, however, the boy’s father also couldn’t resist for long due to threats from Sartaj to blow his house in Mohmand Agency up.

Both couples were buried in a local graveyard during the dark nights but the news somehow broke out which promoted police to arrest Afzal and Hikmat, fathers of the unlucky boy and girl.

Sartaj Khan Alias Shagalai, the main character behind the cold-blooded murders, escaped to Rawalpindi and then managed to cross the border to Afghanistan.

It’s pertinent to mention that the notorious Jirga head ran a small business of construction materials in Sherpao Colony, a mile from the graveyard.