It has been almost four years since the bizarre case of ‘honour’ killing in Kohistan surfaced, yet there has been no justice for those who were senselessly murdered, instead their death has been shrouded with mystery and cover-ups. A blurry video showing a group of young women clapping and singing as two men danced during a wedding ceremony in 2012, became public, following which, a Jirga, comprising 12 elders, reportedly sentenced four women, a minor girl and the two boys in the video to death.

It was reported that the four women and the minor girl were killed on May 30, 2012 but their bodies were never recovered. The men in the video are said to have gone into hiding, but three of their elder brothers were tracked down and killed. The Supreme Court on June 20, 2012 had disposed the case after a fact finding commission, which comprised District and Sessions Judge Muneera Abbasi, Bushra Gohar, ANP MNA, Dr Farzana Bari, a women rights activist, and the administration of federal and the Khyber Pukhtoonkhawa, submitted a report that the girls were alive and well and there had been no murders, even though Dr Bari had expressed reservations that they didn’t seem to be the same women in the video.

Fast forward four years and allegations of cover-ups by MPAs, local clerics, and high ranking officials with ties to the Jirga have surfaced once again and Dr Bari insists that the Supreme Court must reopen the case as the girls have been confirmed dead thanks to Reuters’ journalist, Katharine Houreld, who has proved that the girls who appeared before the commission were not the ones in the video.

Such is the ingenuity now of people who kill in the name of honour, that they are even willing to deceive the Supreme Court. The fact is that even with laws in place to protect women, the killings may not decrease too much and ways to kill and hide will become more innovative. To give many of these men the understanding that women are not property, slaves or lesser beings will take decades more.