Friday, April 3, 2009

Public flogging of 17-year old girl in Swat sparks anger: End of Nizam-e-Adl demanded

ISLAMABAD: NGO’s, Human Rights Activists, civil society and a large number of people condemning the public flogging of 17-year old girl in Swat by the Taliban have demanded establishment of government’s writ and an immediate end to Nizam-e-Adl established in the valley.

The video first released on The Guardian and than shown by all major Pakistani news networks on Friday showing the public flogging of a 17 year old girl in Swat for going outside her house without a male attendant sent a wave of shudder amongst not only the general public but Ulema, NGOs and human rights activists.

The two-minute video, shot using a mobile phone, shows a burka-clad woman face down on the ground. Two men hold her arms and feet while a third, a black-turbaned fighter with a flowing beard, whips her repeatedly.

"Please stop it," she begs, alternately whimpering or screaming in pain with each blow to the backside. "Either kill me or stop it now."

A crowd of men stands by, watching silently. Off camera a voice issues instructions. "Hold her legs tightly," he says as she squirms and yelps.

After 34 lashes the punishment stops and the wailing woman is led into a stone building, trailed by a Kalashnikov-carrying militant.

Taliban spokesman Muslim Khan claimed responsibility for the flogging. "She came out of her house with another guy who was not her husband, so we must punish her. There are boundaries you cannot cross," he said.

He defended the Taliban’s right to thrash women shoppers who were inappropriately dressed, saying it was permitted under Islamic law.

Tahira Abdullah a human Rights activist condemning the gruesome incident said no human let alone a Muslim can ever commit such an act. She demanded of President Asif Ali Zardari, PM Yousaf Raza Gilani, ANP chief Asfand Yar Wali to take notice of this incident and immediately end the peace agreement with the Taliban in Swat and abolish the Nizam-e-Adl system.

She said that Sufi Mohammad, the man who brokered the peace deal between the government and the Taliban, must be summoned and conveyed that the Shariat based Nizam-e-Adl is being abolished.

She said that Islam and the image of Pakistan is being maligned at the hands of few Taliban.

Sherry Rehman former Information Minister said that our society nor Islam permits such acts of violence against women. Condemnation alone is not enough and action should be taken against such acts. She asked the government to hold no soft corners.

Sanam Minullah a human rights activist, condemning the flogging asked the religious parties to wake up and take notice of the situation. She wondered what sort of a religion are we preaching by dishonoring a woman in front of crowd of men. She said that we are portraying wrong image of Islam and the provincial government should condemn the incident and take action.


Things to come

A young woman, probably 17 years old, is held face down by - amongst others - one of her brothers while she is flogged. She is struck hard – these are not token 'smacks' - with a whip 34 times on her buttocks and upper thighs. She screams in pain throughout and begs to be killed. A voice is heard saying 'hold her legs tight'. At the end she stands and is led into a house. The event is watched, apparently in silence, by a group of men, this snapshot of what the future holds for us was somehow caught on camera and eventually made its way to the blogosphere. It has been broadcast on Geo TV as well. Many by now have seen it and sit astonished. It is alleged that the girl came out of her house in the company of a man who was not her husband, hence her punishment. There was no trial, she was unable to offer any defence and she was flogged on the sole evidence of a neighbour. The flogging took place in Swat.

The video exposes the barbarity that lies at the heart of the Taliban movement. This is the Taliban version of Sharia law in action, and it is coming to a chowk near you in the foreseeable future. How should we respond to this? There will be those who will watch the video and say 'Yes…that is the right thing to do. She deserves that punishment. Others should be punished in a similar way.' The people who are of this view are often vociferous, strident even, in their support of an interpretation of religious law that fits their medieval paradigm. We hear their voices every day. Then there are others who will watch it and say 'No, this is not the way things should be done. This is not the Islam that I believe in. Brutal behaviour such as this makes a vile mockery of my faith. I do not want this to happen in my country.' Unfortunately, we do not hear the voices that speak in terms of moderation and tolerance and diversity and acceptance of 'other'. We do not hear them because they are either drowned out by the louder voices of barbarism or because they are voices that speak low and soft, out of the range of normal hearing. We would like to think that the voices not being heard are the voices of the majority, the voices that belong to men and women who want to see a developed and prosperous Pakistan that is a model for the Muslim world.

You members of the softly-spoken majority have a choice to make. Either you continue to speak but have your words drowned out by those who would publicly whip your sisters, mothers, daughters and wives for whatever petty gossip is parlayed by jealous or malicious neighbours; or you raise your voices loud in protest. Say strong and clear that this is not for you. Organise and march and lobby and agitate and protest and in so doing stem the tide of extremism that rolls ever closer. You choose. Because if you don't choose, and the tide rolls around the corner of your street and it is your wife or daughter or sister or mother screaming in front of you as she is flogged – then you have nobody to blame but yourselves.

Taliban flog 17-year-old girl for having ‘affair’: Govt orders probe into Swat whipping

* President, PM seek report, call for arrest of perpetrators
* Taliban spokesman says girl would have been stoned to death if a ‘serious view’ of her ‘crime’ was taken
* Govt says girl whipped in January, Taliban say 9 months ago, HR activist says in last 10 days
ISLAMABAD: President Asif Ali Zardari has strongly condemned the flogging of a 17-year-old girl in public in Swat – where the government recently signed a peace deal with the Taliban – and ordered an inquiry into the matter. The incident has put the controversial Swat peace deal into jeopardy, with TV footage showing the Taliban mercilessly beating the girl – sparking outrage in Pakistan and abroad. Presidential spokesman Farhatullah Babar said Zardari had sought a report from the NWFP provincial government and the local administration and called for arresting those responsible. He said the president had been shocked by the act of barbarism that had brought down heads in shame. “Such barbarism is unpardonable.” Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani also took serious notice of the incident, and sought a report. In shocking images, the two-minute video – apparently made using a mobile phone camera – shows the girl, wearing a veil, face down on the ground with two men holding her arms and feet. A third man in a black turban with a long beard whips her backside repeatedly for having ‘illicit relations with her father-in-law’ – causing her to scream: “Either stop it or kill me.” A crowd of men can be seen watching as one of the Taliban shouts, “Hold her tightly.” The Daily Mail reported the girl’s brother was also involved in the flogging. Taliban spokesman Muslim Khan acknowledged that his group was responsible for the flogging in public, “because no indoor arrangement for Islamic punishment could be made, as we are at war with the government”. NWFP government spokesman Mian Iftikhar said the flogging took place on January 3, much before the peace deal with the Taliban. “We believe there is a conspiracy to sabotage the peace process by airing a video recorded before the deal,” he said. Muslim Khan, however, said, “This incident took place nine months ago.” Top Peshawar-based cleric Maulana Yousaf Qureshi opposed what had happened, telling Daily Times, “The state gives Islamic punishment ... flogging a girl in public is just highhandedness.” Serious view: Muslim Khan said the Taliban had handed out a ‘lenient’ punishment to the girl – suggesting she would have been stoned to death had a ‘serious view’ of the ‘crime’ been taken. Samar Minallah – who works for a Pakistani human rights organisation – distributed the video given to her by people in Swat to the Western media. “The entire village knows she is innocent,” Samar told AFP. She told The Guardian that the flogging had taken place in the last 10 days.
Sherry submits motion
ISLAMABAD: Condemning the flogging of a young girl by the Taliban in Swat, former information minister Sherry Rehman has submitted an adjournment motion seeking debate in the National Assembly. “What is happening in Swat amounts to a blatant abuse of the rights of our people by non-state actors. The state cannot and must not remain silent at this heinous act of brutal violence against women,” she stated in the motion, urging the government to immediately take note of the issue and devise an urgent response to counter the heinous rights’ violation taking place in Swat. She also expressed her concern over the Taliban’s hold on the northern areas of the country, saying it was a cause of concern for the entire nation. Sherry said the government could not allow the Taliban to circulate video footage of the ‘punishment’ to instil fear in the local population, adding that the citizens should not be left at the mercy of elements who are murdering and maiming people in the name of Islam.

Roti, kapra, makan’ continues to be need of the people: Bilawal

NAUDERO :Chairman Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Bilawal Bhutto Zardari said Friday that ‘Roti, kapra, makan’ continues to be the need of 16 crore people of Pakistan.

The present PPP government has focussed all its attention on fulfilment of this need of the people, he said.

He was addressing the joint meeting of the party's Central Executive Committee (CEC) and its Federal Council (FC) at Naudero on the eve of 30th death anniversary of founder- chairman of the party Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto.

Reposing full confidence in the party's Co-chairman he said the present government has very smoothly restored the judiciary and by restoring all the deposed judges the government has resolved a major issue.

The PPP government will now address the issue of terrorism on priority, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari said.

30th death anniversary of Shaheed Z.A Bhutto on Saturday

ISLAMABAD: The 30th death anniversary of former prime minister and founder PPP chairman Shaheed Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto would be observed across the country on Saturday. Main ceremony of the death anniversary is scheduled to be held midnight at Garhi Khuda Bux, the final rest place of Quid-e-Awam, who preferred to sacrifice his life for cause of democracy instead of bowing down before the dictator.

Hundreds of thousands Bhutto lovers including senior party leaders have started reaching Larkana, Naudero and Garhi Khuda Bux Bhutto to attend the anniversary.

Thousands of people could be seen standing in queues to visit the final rest place of Shaheed Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto and his martyred daughter Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto, and sons Shaheed Shahnawaz and Murtaza Bhutto.

Significant security measures have been taken and Sindh government has deployed some 6,000 cops and officers the vigilance, a provincial government official told APP.

He said that scanners were installed at the entry point while strip search was also being conducted if required. Besides, sniffer dogs were being used for detection and vehicle search was ensured.

Organizing committee has set-up sperate camps for accommodation and reception of the workers and leaders from all the four provinces, northern areas and Azad Kashmir.

Pakistan Railways was operating special trains from Peshawar, Lahore, Karachi and Quetta, to facilitate the people for reaching Garhi Khuda Bux.

Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, first elected prime minister of Pakistan was hanged by then dictator General Zia on April 4, 1979. General Zia had unconstitutionally took over the rule and removed the prime minister.

Garhi Khuda Bux is a city now called martyrs of democracy has gained an importance especially after the assassination of Benazir Bhutto as hundreds of thousands of spirited party workers thronged in this small town and can be seen chanting slogans to pay homage to their shaheed leaders.

One can hear slogans like “Jeay Bhutto sada Jeay” and “Zinda hey BB Zinda hey” by workers gathered here from every nook and corner of the country.

Every street of Garhi Khuda Bux was decorated with tri-coloured flags and banners of Pakistan People’s Party (PPP).

President Asif Ali Zardari, Prime Minister Syed Yousaf Raza Gillani, members of the federal cabinet, National Assembly Speaker, Deputy Speaker and senior leadership of the PPP also visited the mausoleum to offer fateha and pay homage to the great leader.

“Well, Bhutto is a symbol of inspiration and courage. He gave awareness to masses for their rights. He was voice of deprived segment of society,” senior PPP leader Dr. Israr Shah said.

Israr Shah, who was student leader in Z.A Bhutto’s era, said that former prime minister had a very humble and charismatic personality. Besides, he never compromised over the principles.

“Bhutto preferred death over the compromise. He is physically not with us but his wisdom, his vision, his manifesto and his thought is still alive...Bhutto is a martyr, he will always rule the peoples’ hearts,” remarked Shah.

Meanwhile, a PPP spokesman said that President Asif Ali Zardari, co-chairman of PPP, will preside over the party central executive committee (CEC) and federal council (FC) meeting in Naudero this evening.

All CEC, FC members, MNAs and Senators would attend the meeting which has been convened to pay tribute to the founding PPP chairman and take stock of country’s current political situation.

On the other hand; as part of the ceremonies to remember the great leader, a documentary, depicting life and achievements of Shaheed Z.A. Bhutto and Shaheed Benazir Bhutto will also be shown on the occasion.

In addition; a Mushaira has also been scheduled at the mausoleum of Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and a torch bearing procession was taken out from Larkana.

The ceremony will begin Saturday morning with Quran Khawani and later throughout the day the workers and leaders would be visiting the mausoleum for paying their respects and praying for the soul.

In Islamabad, a function has been arranged to observe the 30th Martyrdom Anniversary of Quaid-e-Awam Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, at central secretariat.

The function would start with Quran Khawani and prominent PPP leaders address the session to highlight the achievements and services of Shaheed Chairman for the betterment of masses.

On the other hand, People’s Party (Shaheed Bhutto) has also made arrangements for observing the 30th Death Anniversary of Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, said a party spokesman.

VIDEO OF TALIBAN Beating Young Girl

This is ignorance and barbarian act of violence.For the rest of the month PUKHTUNKHWA TIMES will publish reports on this incident,I welcome everyone to comment on this horrible incident.

Shariah in Swat. By Col. Riaz Jafri (Retd)

Islamabad: April 3, 2009. (PCP) Almost all TV channels showed at mid day today a 17 year old girl being publicly whipped in Swat by the Taleban under the Shariah laws imposed there for having out of the house unaccompanied by a mahram.. It was most distressing and painful to see two burly men pinning her down in a most cruel, inhuman and brutal way by holding her from the shoulders and feet and a third dispenser of the so-called Islamic Law administering the lashes very ‘manly’ on her back. The poor wretched creature was crying and howling uncontrollably with the each lash landing on her body. The most astonishing thing was that there was a throng of the most chivalrous and proud Pathans, Pukhtoons or the Pushtoons – whatever you may call them - around the helpless victim of atrocity watching the spectacle mutely either in approval or dumbfounded and afraid of uttering a word against it lest it be termed as anti-Islamic and they themselves meted out the same treatment. Well Done the Ghayur Pukhtoons of Swat. Well Done to your chivalry and manliness.

On soliciting the comments by the TV persons the intelligentsia belonging to all segments of society unequivocally and vociferously condemned the incidence. However, surprisingly though not unexpectedly, the newly elected Ameer Jama’t e Islami – Syed Munnawar Hussain – in spite of the best efforts of a TV newscaster not only not condemned the incidence but also sounded annoyed and irritated on the repeated asking for his comments in yes or no by a TV newscaster. The hypocrisy was writ too large all over and too obvious, he could not afford to say anything against his and his party’s such kith men imposing such a shariah.

I think, it is time we asked ALL religious parties and their leaders whether they condemn or approve of such acts? It is also time that the CJP took suo moto notice of it. People have great hopes from him and he must rise to the occasion. It is also time, that the Lawyers, the ML(N), the TI, the ANP, the PESA (Pakistan Ex-Servicemen Association), the Human Rights Activists and ALL other right thinking people and parties took out a long march against such atrocious enforcement of un Islamic Shariah in Swat and elsewhere in Pakistan. It is also time that the president not signed the Swat Shariah Bill and the parliament not endorsed it either.


SC takes suo motu notice of Swat incident

ISLAMABAD: Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry taking a suo motu notice of Geo News’ footage of whipping of a 17 year old girl, ordered the Interior Secretary to bring the girl along with him to the court.

Taking suo motu notice of the Geo News’s footage in the interest of the people, Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry formed an eight-member larger bench which will initiate hearing of the matter in question on April 6. The bench will be headed by CJP himself.

According to a press release issued by the SC, the CJP ordered for the matter to be taken by the larger bench under Article 184 of the Constitution.

Notices have been issued to Secretary Interior, Chief Secretary NWFP and IG NWFP to ensure their physical presence before the court on April 6.

The Chief Justice has ordered the Secretary Interior to bring the girl along with him on April 6.

Notices have also been issued to Attorney General of Pakistan, Advocate General NWFP, President High Court Bar Association NWFP for the assistance of the court.

The larger bench comprises Justice Javed Iqbal, Justice Sardar Muhammad Khan, Justice Khalil-ur-Rehman Ramday, Justice Faqeer Muhammad Khokhar, Justice Mian Shakirullah Jan, Justice Raja Fayaz Ahmed and Justice Chaudhry Aijaz besides Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry.

Govt condemns, SC acts on Swat girl flogging

THIS Pakistni regime does not have any ability to control and punish ignorant Taliban,they are all just issuing fake statements now and tehy will not take any action aginst criminal Taliban.
ISLAMABAD: As television images of the public flogging of a teenage girl in a village in Swat sent shockwaves across the country, Prime Minister Syed Yousaf Raza Gilani joined the voices of condemnation, and ordered an inquiry into the gruesome act by the local Taliban in the name of their own brand of Shariah.

The Prime Minister has condemned the incident in strongest possible words, terming it as 'a shameful happening which has tarnished the image of the country', said an official statement on Friday.

He said, the whole episode was against the principles and teachings of Islam. 'Islam teaches us treating women politely', said the prime minister, adding, the government believed in the rights of women and would take every possible measure for the protection of their rights.

Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry on Friday held the flogging in Swat a serious violation of fundamental rights and ordered the Interior Secretary 'to procure' the victim girl and produce her before his court on April 6.

Meanwhile, both civil society and public representatives have also reacted strongly to the incident, and feared that it might spread to the rest of the country in future.

Throughout the day on Friday, tv channels kept on screening a screaming 17-year old girl, who was flogged for 34 times under the broad day light, encircled by local male crowd in Matta area, further up the valley of Swat.

The amateur video, apparently shot on a mobile phone, shows a woman wearing red-colour shalwar and black burqa face down on the ground, with dozens of men, mostly onlookers, watching it with amazement. Her legs and hands are being held by two men, and a third bearded person is shown whipping her repeatedly.

Soon after the first couple of lashes the woman starts to scream, and scrams loudly, but no one from the crowd moves or try and stop the ferocious-looking men from committing the horrific act. 'Please, please' shouts the woman in Pushto. 'Stop it, please', comes another scream, but to no avail.

The public flogging continues for several minutes, after which the wailing woman is dragged by the group of armed men to a nearby building.

The video shown by several news channels sent a wave of shock, anger and depression across the country.

Initially some of the self-styled defenders of the Pakistani Taliban tried to down-play to significance of the incident, and said it was not clear from the video if it was a recent incident, or if it all happened in Swat.

One of the ANP leaders went to the extent of accusing those showing the video of trying to undermine the Swat peace agreement between the provincial government and the local militants headed by Maulana Fazlullah.

But they were soon silenced by a statement by the Swat Taliban spokesman Muslim Khan, who told a couple of tv channels, that it was indeed the work of the local Taliban. He justified the action and said the 17-year-old was seen out of her house with a man who was not her husband, something that he described as un-Islamic.

The incident has outraged many human rights and women groups in the country, many of them have accused government of giving a free hand to the extremist religious groups to enforce their own brand of Islamic shariah in Swat and some other parts of Northern Pakistan.

'We strongly condemned this barbaric and heinous crime and demands immediate action against those who were involved in this inhuman act,' Women’s Parliamentary Caucus said in a statement on Friday.

Secretary of the caucus, Ms Nafisa Shah said, neither Islam nor constitution of the Islamic republic of Pakistan allowed such acts, instead protected fundamental women rights. She pledged, the caucus would take up this issue in the parliament, and with the federal and provincial governments, so that culprits could be brought to the book.

Several local NGOs working for the women rights also expressed their shock over the tragic incident and demanded immediate action by the government.

President Zardari condemns whipping girl publicly

LARKANA: President Asif Ali Zardari has strongly condemned the whipping of a Swat girl by Taliban. (More to follow)

Teenage girl flogged by Taliban in Swat


A video showing a teenage girl being flogged by Taliban fighters has emerged from the Swat Valley in Pakistan, offering a shocking glimpse of militant brutality in the once-peaceful district, and a sign of Taliban influence spreading deeper into the country.The two-minute video, shot using a mobile phone, shows a burka-clad woman face down on the ground. Two men hold her arms and feet while a third, a black-turbaned fighter with a flowing beard, whips her repeatedly."Please stop it," she begs, alternately whimpering or screaming in pain with each blow to the backside. "Either kill me or stop it now."A crowd of men stands by, watching silently. Off camera a voice issues instructions. "Hold her legs tightly," he says as she squirms and yelps.After 34 lashes the punishment stops and the wailing woman is led into a stone building, trailed by a Kalashnikov-carrying militant.Reached by phone, Taliban spokesman Muslim Khan claimed responsibility for the flogging. "She came out of her house with another guy who was not her husband, so we must punish her. There are boundaries you cannot cross," he said. He defended the Taliban's right to thrash women shoppers who were inappropriately dressed, saying it was permitted under Islamic law.The Guardian received the video through Samar Minallah, a Pashtun documentary maker and anthropologist who lived in Swat for two years in the late 1990s. It has been passed between Swat residents by mobile phones.Ms Minallah said the punishment had been inflicted within the last 10 days, following the signing of a controversial peace deal under which the provincial government ceded control of the valley's judicial system to the militants."This video is being widely circulated because the Taliban want people to see it. They want to give the message that this is taking place after the peace deal because this is something they ideologically believe in," she said.Local sources including journalists and human rights workers, some of whom declined to be identified, confirmed the video was recent, although estimates of its timing varied between one and three weeks ago. The Taliban spokesman said it predated the peace deal.Sher Muhammad Khan, an official in Swat with the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, said: "They have committed so many atrocities since the peace deal. They have taken entire control of the district. There is nobody to control them; they decide disputes according to their whims."Since the 15 February deal, a hybrid of traditional and Islamic law has been operational in Mingora, the largest city in Swat district. The qazi courts, as they are known, are not operated by the Taliban but by a related political movement. They have a murky legal status because the changes have yet to be signed into law.Floggings and other physical punishments have not been imposed in Mingora, where some residents have praised the system's efficiency. However, in outlying districts, where government writ has been entirely crushed, a crude form of gun justice prevails.The woman in the video, named as Chaand and believed to be aged 17, was punished in Matta, a district further up the Swat Valley.Minallah and other sources said the girl was punished on suspicion of having had an illicit relationship with a married man. She did not receive a trial. "The whole case is based on the suspicions of one neighbour," said Minallah.The woman's brother is among the men pinning her down, she added. "It's symbolic that he does it with his own hands. It gives him honour in local society, that he has done it for the sake of religion."The Swat Valley is controlled by Maulana Fazlullah, a charismatic preacher who initially gained popularity through radio broadcasts, then seized control through gun battles, suicide attacks and intimidation of the local population.Since the peace deal, women have been beaten for shopping unaccompanied in Mingora's main market and dozens of girls' schools remain closed, many of them bombed.Fazlullah has sworn loyalty to Baitullah Mehsud, the overall Taliban leader from South Waziristan who claimed responsibility for last Monday's eight-hour assault on a police centre in Lahore and has vowed to mount attacks in Washington.
On Wednesday a presumed American drone fired rockets at a compound controlled by his network, killing at least 14 people.The effective surrender of government authority in Swat has caused great alarm across Pakistan and among western allies.Minallah said she feared Talibanisation would spread across Pakistan. "I have distributed this video because I feel people are in denial. They don't want to believe what is happening."

KARACHI: A video showing a girl being flogged by Taliban militants has emerged from Pakistan’s Swat Valley, Times Online and Guardian reported.The video, lasting for about two-minutes, was shot using a mobile phone, and shows a burka-clad female, held by two men, while another man repeatedly whips her.While being flogged, the 17-year-old girl begged the men to stop.'For God's sake, stop it ... hang on, hang on,' the girl cries as the man beats her across the buttocks.A militant commander off-camera can be heard giving orders as the girl squirms and whimpers under the blows:
'Hold her feet tightly, hold her hands tightly.'After 34 lashes the men stop and the girl is led into a building by them.Taliban spokesman Muslim Khan claimed responsibility for the flogging, Guardian said. The girl was punished for having committed adultery, Guardian quoted Muslim Khan as saying. He also defended the Taliban's right to thrash women shoppers who were improperly dressed.
Samar Minallah, a Pashtun documentary maker and anthropologist, interviewed by the Guardian, said the video was being passed between Swat residents through mobile phones.'It was distributed deliberately by the militants to harass residents and make the point that they can keep on doing what they like,' Minallah said. Residents condemned the beating.'It's inhuman. If that's their Islam, sorry to say but I don't want it,' said shopkeeper Abdul Kabir.Mechanic Nasir Khan said the authorities should do something: 'Why aren't they taking action against those who did it? It's criminal silence.' Minallah said the punishment had been inflicted within the last 10 days, following the signing of a peace deal under which the provincial government ceded control of the valley to the Tehrik-i-Nifaz-i-Shariat-i-Muhammadi (TNSM).
Local sources, many of whom requested anonymity, confirmed the video was recent, however estimates of its timing varied between one and three weeks ago. Muslim Khan said it predated the peace deal. The female in the video, named as Chaand and aged 17, was flogged in Matta, 25 miles from Swat’s regional capital Mingora, the Guardian report said. Sources said the girl was punished for allegedly having an illicit relationship with a married man. The girl did not receive a trial. ‘The whole case is based on the suspicions of one neighbour,’ Guardian quoted Minallah as saying.The girl’s brother is among the men pinning her down, Minallah added.The leader of Pakistan's main Islamist party, the Jamaat-e-Islami, played down the incident.
'It's a small thing. We should talk about drone attacks, not minor things,' said Munawar Hassan, referring to attacks on suspected militants by pilotless US aircraft that have angered many Pakistanis.