“Waziristan has been in the grip of insurgency for decades. Everything about the people of this war-torn region is constantly at stake. There is almost no education for women here. Every other household has one or another female widow and often children. The shadow of the father has risen from her head. In such a situation, she wanted all these helpless women to be taught skills and stand on their own feet. “
This was said by Irshad Bibi's brother Javed Khan who was ambushed and shot dead by unknown persons on Monday.
The terrorist incident took place when the vehicle of an NGO called 'Sabaon' was attacked in Mir Ali Tehsil of North Waziristan.
The attack killed four women, Naheed Bibi, Irshad Bibi, Ayesha Bibi and Jawariya Bibi, while one survived. Driver Abdul Khaliq was seriously injured in the attack.
No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack. However, Hassan alias Sajna, a key leader of the Hafiz Gul Bahadur group, a terrorist organization involved in the attack on women, was killed, according to a statement issued by the Pakistan Army's Public Relations (ISPR) on Tuesday.
Javed Khan, brother of Irshad Bibi and Ayesha Bibi, says he has not received any such information. In a voice full of pain, he could only say that he did not want any compensation from the government or any other institution, but only justice.
Recalling Monday's incident, he said that Irshad Bibi was older than Ayesha. They were not married. However, Ayesha Bibi was married last year. And she was the mother of a four-month-old daughter.
He added that his sisters had long been associated with NGOs. The 45-day package to teach handicrafts to North Waziristan women began before the Karuna epidemic. She used to go to Mir Ali from Bannu daily.
Ayesha Bibi's husband Nikmatullah Khan told VOA that Ayesha Bibi wanted to educate women in her area. That's why she was doing her MA in English as well as her job. He was killed on Monday while his final year was on March 1.
Nikmatullah said that after the incident, when someone in the hospital checked his wife's wallet, he called her on his mobile phone to say that there had been an accident and she rushed there.
However, when they got there, someone said it was not an accident but a shooting. Hearing this news, it was as if the earth came out from under your feet.
He said he was later asked to identify his wife and sister-in-law. He says that the moment was in no way less than the Hour for him. Because a few hours ago he sent his wife home safely. But now his wife's mutilated body lay before him.
According to Nikmatullah, the post-mortem took a long time after which the bodies were handed over to him in the evening and the funeral was possible at 9 pm.
The Pakistani military launched Operation Zarb-e-Azb in North Waziristan in June 2014. The operation resulted in claims of dismantling the terrorist network.
However, the number of ambushes in the area has increased in the last few months.
Talking to reporters on Wednesday, Pakistan Army spokesman Major General Babar Iftikhar said that the army was pursuing terrorists. However, for their survival, they are choosing 'soft targets' to spread panic in the region.
He clarified that the people of Waziristan stand with the army and that is why the network of NGOs attacking women was exposed within 24 hours.
Besides Irshad Bibi and Ayesha Bibi, Javed Khan also has four other sisters. His house is full of people from morning till evening for condolence.
According to Javed Khan, the sympathy of the people can be gauged from the fact that hundreds of people who did not even know him came for condolence. The number is so high that it is difficult to accommodate them here, which is a testament to the brutality with which their innocent sisters were killed.
Bannu is an old and historic city in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. However, like other traditional Pashtun areas, the people here are conservative as opposed to modern. The rate of education is rising among women as well as men. But in terms of employment, taking up jobs in modern occupations is discouraged.
Speaking to VOA, Irfanullah, coordinator of the NGO Sabawon, said the four women who worked with him were working in vocational training centers in different areas.
He added that a total of 35 female students were learning handicrafts at the center in Mir Ali. The duration of a course is three months which was to be completed this week.
According to Irfanullah, after the tragedy, he believes women's welfare plans in remote tribal areas may be limited.
. (tagsToTranslate) خبریں (t) پاکستان (t) women (t) north wazirstan