"They shot dead one of them"
A Pakistani teenager was allegedly killed by her own family after being sentenced to death by village elders in what is believed to be an honour killing.
Reportedly, the killing happened because a video of her dancing with a boy went viral.
The incident happened on November 26, 2023, in the village of Barsharyal in the mountainous Kohistan region.
Village elders also called for the victim’s friend, who was dancing with another boy in the video, to be killed.
But before the execution could be carried out, the girl was rescued by police.
Masood Khan, deputy superintendent of police in the Kolai-Palas district, said:
“They shot dead one of them while police rescued the second one.
“We have launched an investigation to trace those who killed the girl and who either advised or convened a jirga (the village elders) and sentenced her to death.”
He went on to say that nobody was above the law and that those involved in the killing would be brought to justice.
After being rescued, the second girl returned home with her father after a senior civil judge ruled that her life was not in any danger.
The boys who appeared in the video have now gone into hiding, fearing action will be taken against them.
In the conservative village, the elders’ council has their own set of rules.
In relation to the Pakistani teenager, the council labelled those who appeared in the viral video as “chor” (thief) and issued a decree for their death.
Syed Irshad Hussain Shah, the caretaker chief minister of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, has ordered the police to arrest those responsible.
He said: “We are investigating.”
He added that male relatives of the victim are believed to be involved in the killing as public images of women are considered taboo in the area.
Every year, hundreds of women in Pakistan are victims of honour killings.
Honour killings are typically carried out by relatives claiming to be defending their family’s honour. According to human rights groups, honour killings often happen in strictly conservative rural areas.
Human rights activist Dr Farzana Bari expressed her concern for the safety of the second girl.
She said the girl remains under serious threat and believes she will be murdered sooner or later.
Dr Bari added: “She has probably been misguided by her family. Knowing the kind of mindset that exists in the area, I think this girl would be killed.”