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July 17, 2012 / Man in the Mirror

Daily Times: Women’s rights activist shot dead in Jamrud

Staff Report

PESHAWAR: A young woman working for women’s rights in conservative tribal regions was killed on Wednesday in Khyber Agency bordering Peshawar, administration official and witnesses said.

Fareeda Kokikhel, director of Sewara – an NGO in Khyber tribal region, was on her way to office in Peshawar when she was fired upon. She received a bullet in head and two in neck.

“She was on her way to office when militants opened fire,” Jamrud political administration official Asmatullah Wazir told reporters. She was killed hardly a kilometre off her home in Ghundi area of Jamrud tehsil of Khyber tribal region, he added.

Witnesses said two motorcyclists intercepted Fareeda and fled after shooting her.

Unconfirmed reports said the political administration had arrested three suspects in connection with Fareeda’s killing.

The official said the Sewara director was transported to local hospital but she succumbed to wounds before any medical assistance could have been provided.

Fareeda told a Jamrud-based journalist a month ago that she was “under threat”. But she had not named the people threatening her.

However, Asmatullah Wazir suspected local Taliban were behind her murder.

“I could even be killed in Peshawar,” Fareeda had responded when the journalist asked if she would move to Peshawar following the threats. 

She said she had changed her mobile phone number but people threatening her got her new cell number as well and kept on threatening her.

Fareeda, according to the journalist who wished not to be named, was making tribal women aware of their rights and also running vocational centres to impart them skills so that they could earn livelihood on their own.

She was the first tribal woman working in extreme hostile environment and despite life threats she did not leave her ancestral area, saying that she such threats could not deter her from working for the tribal women.

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