In May 2008, a Jirga was held to “try” a 17-year old girl after she had already been killed. As a result of the trial, she was declared as being Kari (having had an illicit relationship). This was done, according to the tribal traditions, to justify her earlier murder by members of her own family. Prior to the Jirga being held, Taslim Solangi, had been subjected to a savage ordeal.


On March 7, 2008, she was

thar5made to run while being chased

by a pack of dogs that bit at her legs until, exhausted, she fell to the ground where they continued to maul her. At this place, she was then shot by father in law, in the presence of her father in order to intimidate him. During one inquiry, the inquiry officer found that the Jirga has documented the proceeding to justify the killing of the girl and several members have signed the document.

The Jirgas have become a strong tool in the hands of powerful people,
particularly land-lords, in Pakistan’s tribal areas. They are used to
commit or enable a range of brutal human rights violations. The
government’s support for the illegal Jirga judicial system is plain
to see. Two federal ministers have been involved in conducting Jirgas
that decided that the practice of live burials is an acceptable tribal

Through the Jirgas many women in remote areas are made victims and
killed every year. Over 4,000 people have died in Jirga sanctioned
murders over the last six years and two thirds of them have been
women. Their killings have often been carried out under the most
barbaric of circumstances. Many are charged with having a
relationship out of marriage, which is often a fabricated claim, and
others are suspected of planning love marriages (in direct opposition
to the marriages planned by their families). It is believed that these
killings have become a way of resolving property disputes,
particularly by male family members who resent losing property to
another family through marriage.

In the feudal, fiercely patriarchal north, women’s lives are worth
little. It is a matter of prestige to have more than one wife, and
young girls are often sold into marriage to settle disputes. In one
recent case, under the orders of a Jirga and with the knowledge and
apparent acquiescence of the police, three young girls (aged 10, 12,
13) were handed over as compensation to a man who claimed that their father had slept with his wife. The complainant had also already
openly killed his wife.

In another horrific case, five women – Ms. Fatima, Ms. Jannat Bibi,
and Ms. Fauzia, all aged between 16 and 18 years-old, and two older
women – were buried alive near the village of Baba Kot in
Balochistan. The women were travelling to conduct marriages for the
three younger women to men of their choice; not those that had been
arranged for them by their families. On hearing of this, Mr. Abdul
Sattar Umrani, the brother of a provincial government minister, and
six other men abducted them at gun point. They were taken in a Land
Cruiser jeep, bearing a Balochistan government registration number
plate, to Nau Abadi, a remote area outside of Baba Kot. Abdul Sattar
Umrani and his six henchmen reportedly took the three younger women
out of the jeep and beat them before opening fire on them with their
guns. The girls were seriously injured but were still alive, at which
point the men buried them alive in a ditch, covering them with earth
and stones. The two older women, one of whom was Fauzias aunt and the other was a mother of one of the other younger women, protested and tried to stop the burial but were also pushed into the ditch and buried alive.