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Pak couple face death by stoning after adultery conviction

By Abdul Nisar

Manjakot (Pakistan), July 19(ANI): A Pakistani couple have been sentenced to death by stoning for alleged adultery by a tribal court in the Khyber-Pakhtunkwa province of the country.

The man involved, Zarkat Khan, has run away while the woman is in the custody of the court.

According to a member of the tribal court, the death sentence will be carried out once Zarkat is found.

Human rights groups in the region have come forward to rescue the woman, who is married and has three children.

"As usual, it is the woman who is made to bear the brunt of such atrocious barbarism, injustice, and inhuman, un-Islamic sentences," The Guardian quoted Woman's Action Forum, a Pakistani non-governmental organisation, as saying.

"Why is the provincial law enforcement system neither de jure nor de facto functional? Where are the women's protection mechanisms and institutions?" the forum added.

The local government administration confirmed that the jirga had passed a verdict of stoning to death, or "sangsar" as it is locally known, but claimed that it had interceded and the couple were now in safe hands.

"Both are with relatives. The big jirga never happened, it was a smaller jirga," said Tasleem Khan, government administrator for Kala Dhaka.

"The verdict was stoning, but we intervened, called in the elders and nothing has happened to either [man or woman]," he added. (ANI)

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