Islamabad, April 18: A man and a woman accused of
committing adultery have been gunned down by the Taliban in
restive northwest Pakistan, showed a chilling footage of the
public execution that surfaced just two weeks after a video of
a teenage girl being flogged by the militants sent shockwaves
across the country.
The new video, sent to the Dawn newspaper yesterday by
unidentified persons, shows a Taliban firing squad killing the
man and woman, both apparently in their forties, after
accusing them of having committed adultery.
The two persons were gunned down in the presence of their
relatives. The newspaper quoted its sources as saying that the
incident took place in Hangu district of North West Frontier
Province a few days ago.
In the video, the woman is heard appealing to the Taliban
for mercy. "Have mercy on me, please have mercy. The charges
against me are false and no man has ever touched me," she is
The Taliban militants first pumped several bullets into
the woman's chest and then fired a burst from assault rifles
at her and the man. As the woman was apparently still alive
after being shot, some Taliban are heard shouting: "She is
alive, kill her."
Pakistani political leaders and rights activists had
condemned the public flogging of teenager Chand Bibi in the
restive Swat valley after the emergence of the earlier
two-minute mobile phone video.
That video showed the burqa-clad 17-year-old girl being
held face down on the ground by three men while a fourth
whipped her repeatedly. A large crowd of men watched the
flogging, which reportedly occurred in the Matta area of Swat
some weeks ago.
Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani ordered an inquiry into
the matter and Supreme Court Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry
took suo moto notice of the issue and sought fortnightly
reports from the government on its inquiry.
However, federal Interior Secretary Kamal Shah told a
news conference at Saidu Sharief in Swat yesterday that an
investigating team had concluded the earlier video was fake.
The team, headed by a senior police official, had
submitted a report on its probe that will be handed over to
the apex court, he said.
The team had also concluded that no incident of flogging
had occurred, Shah said. The team and the judge of an Islamic
court had recorded the statements of Chand Bibi and her
husband, and they had both denied the incident.
Shah said he had visited the area in compliance with the
directives of the apex court, which had asked him to go to
Swat to inquire about the incident.
First Published: Saturday, April 18, 2009, 00:00