In 2012 a video emerged and then went viral on the internet. In the video, four girls were thumping a drum and two boys were dancing, and the environment of it indicated that some sort of family fete was underway. The people in the video were identified, later, as the residents of Kohistan.

A cleric-based Jirga, after holding a meeting, ordered to kill all the persons recorded in the video. A lot of mystery has engulfed this case, since then, just a rumour from here and a rumour from there. Many reports emerged, presenting new facts that discarded the previous report, and so on. 

Recently, a journalist, Mr. Haseeb Khawaja , investigated this case thoroughly and has tried to bring it to the limelight once again, with the noble intention of having the culprits involved caught. After thorough investigation and research, of about one and half month, he gathered his final report. He sent it to many media houses but no one dared to run it in any capacity, and the reason was obvious: this particular matter was very sensitive and a considerable amount of threat was attached to it. He then uploaded the report on his own social media profile and, after complying with his journalistic duties, he donned the cloak of an activist. He appeared on many channels to bring the facts to the knowledge of general public. 

Soon after that he received a phone call from the head of that particular Jirga, Maulana Javed. Maulana threatened him and asked to withdraw his name from this case or be ready for the worst. Haseeb Khawaja reported this to the police and asked for life protection. 

On June 05, 2014, an attempt on the life of Haseeb Khawaja was made, which luckily was thwarted due to his cries for help that managed to attract the attention of people present nearby. The police, as expected, paid no heed to the issue, and, due to their negligence, not only did the perpetrator escape but also succeeded in removing all the possible evidence. Haseeb Khawaja , after this vicious attack on his life, maintains that his life is still exposed to any other peril, which may follow. 

The investigation report delivered by Haseeb Khawaja regarding the Kohistan Scandal revealed, in detail, the events which followed after the verdict of the local Jirga. During a media conference in SAFMA, Haseeb Khawaja told the participants that the district and session judge of Kohistan has sentenced one murderer to death and the other five to pay a fine of 0.2 million each, with life imprisonment. The other thing to be noted here is that, according to the investigation, all the girls who were in that video are no more alive. Further investigation into the matter is being undertaken by the authorities, and a case against the remaining murderers has been filed in the High court (The Abbottabad bench of Peshawar High Court.).

A commission was also made by the KPK government to find out whether the girls are alive or not. Later, Maulana Dildar, a member of this commission, an ex-parliamentarian and provincial secretary of JUI-F, confirmed that the girls associated with that video have been killed. To confirm this claim, a grand meeting was also held at Pattan(Kohistan), in which some twenty seven tribes participated. They also concluded that the girls are not alive and have been killed. 

The Supreme Court has recently reopened the case and ordered a fresh inquiry to be conducted into the matter. This move by the honorable court will definitely help in settling this case in the best way possible by punishing everyone who has been arraigned with the charges of murder. 

Civil society also raised their voice against this inhumane and barbaric incident. Many plays were presented to raise awareness about the matter in public. Right now, three documentary films are being made to adumbrate this incident, so the international and national community can also learn what basic problems are being faced by third world countries. 

The Kohistan video scandal is not just another woeful and heartbreaking incident which took place in some backward area – where illiteracy is alarmingly high – in fact, it is an ugly blot on the face of peace and humanity. It is a loud bellow of intolerance and an extremely conservative approach, mocking us on our defeat. We, as a nation, are still struggling to curb out this pathetic mentality. How many more valuable lives do we have to sacrifice on the altar of injustice and brutality? How many more innocents do we have to sacrifice to achieve a society which is peaceful and halcyon, a society which is progressive and carries the resonance of sobriety?

As hope tries to brighten up the darkness of circumstances, we may put our faith in the idea of spreading love and tolerance as the greatest of virtues to make this world and our surroundings a better place to live in. To quote Martin Luther King, “Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.”

Haseeb Khawaja did a tremendous job by unearthing the very basic facts about this case and making them accessible to everyone. Even after being attacked, he is still as strong as before, and in higher spirits. He says that he will keep on highlighting this issue so that the people of Pakistan can breathe in a more secure environment.