Pak soldier publicly stoned to death for love affair
Dera Ismail Khan (Pakistan): A Pakistani soldier was publicly stoned to death on the order of a tribal court in the country's northwestern Kurram region for having an affair with a local woman, government officials and tribesmen said on Wednesday. Such tribal justice is a stark reminder of the difficulty in establishing a credible civilian administration in Pakistan's semi-autonomous region bordering Afghanistan, despite a series of military operations in the area and Western nations pouring in millions of dollars to help build infrastructure.
Punjab native Anwar Din, 27, was posted last year to the Parachinar area of Kurram agency where he met Intizar Bibi, 19, while manning a checkpost near her home. The two embarked on a romantic relationship, tribal sources said, and he tried to elope with her when he was later posted to the disputed Kashmir region. It was not immediately clear what evidence there was, if any, of a romance.
"The girl left her home on Monday and met Anwar Din when villagers saw them," said Munir Hussain, the head of the local jirga, or tribal court, that sentenced Din to death. "We took the girl into custody and took the boy to the local graveyard where he was stoned to death and buried." Din was killed on Monday, he added. A government official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the jirga had ruled the woman must be shot to death. It was not immediately clear if this had already taken place.
The army was not immediately available for comment. Kurram, the only part of Pakistan's largely lawless border region that has a significant Shia population, is racked by sectarian violence between Sunni and Shia tribes. Anti-Shi'ite ideology from the Taliban and al Qaeda has meant years of bloody fighting. Bibi is Shi'ite while Din was Sunni, Hussain added.