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Terror-hit widow recalls tragedy of a fateful night of 2008

MINGORA: Though normalcy has returned to the Swat valley, many families still recall memories of the ugliest time they experienced.

Among scores of such families, Farzana, 30, experienced the harshest time of her life after having some beautiful moments with her husband and three children at Balogram village near Mingora.

Her husband Peer Mohammad who had a bakery at Balogram Chowk was a responsible husband and caring father. However, he along with his brother and father met the most tragic death when militants, one night, came and took them, and slaughtered them.

Recounting her tragic story, she told this correspondent that it was the night before Eidul Azha in 2008 when her husband was preparing some sweets for his shop that over 20 masked militants knocked at the door.

“When my husband went out the men who were in black dresses and had guns and knives, first searched our house and then asked him to go with them for some urgent work. They took Peer Mohammad, his brother and father, leaving us screaming,” she said, adding that they also took their jewellery with them and ordered them not to come out of the houses till morning.

“In the morning we were informed that all the three had been slaughtered and the bodies were thrown off in the nearby fields,” she said with pain.

As the villagers celebrated Eid, the ill-fated family had three beheaded bodies ready for funerals.

“They (militants) had left a letter written with my husband’s blood, but nobody could understand its words,” she said. “After the funerals, militants announced that they had killed the three men from one family without telling any reason. I could not sleep for hundreds of nights after that and even after eight years the horrifying scenes haunt me,” she said with tears rolling down her cheek.

The entire village was sad over the tragic incident. Even local militants told their leaders that they did wrong to kill the three innocents after which the militants’ commanders changed their words and denied any involvement.

According to Farzana, her husband was a noble man and had great love for education and religion. “He was a true gentleman and treated me with love and respect,” she said.

He was a caring father and desired to educate his children,” she said.

“After my husband’s death I lived with my three children in the same house, but my husband’s last departure with the masked men coupled with financial miseries forced me to leave that house,” she said.

Later on, she shifted to her parents’ house in Mingora and came to know about Khpal Kor Foundation where she admitted her daughter Marwa as a day scholar. Marwa, who is studying in grade-8 in Khpal Kor Model School, aims to become a teacher. She wants to take revenge of her father’s death, but with pen.


Published in Dawn


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