Pakistani woman publicly lashed by Taliban wants justice

By Awais Saleem, IANS
Tuesday, November 30, 2010

ISLAMABAD - A Pakistani woman who was publicly lashed by Taliban militants on charges of adultery two years ago Tuesday appeared before the media and demanded justice from the government.

The woman, named Saira, who spoke to Express TV in the Swat valley in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, said the Taliban had accused her of having illicit relations.

Denying the accusation, she said: “The Taliban jirga gave me a punishment of 30 lashes in public. I was not even allowed a chance to defend myself.”

Saira’s husband said his wife was a “woman of strength and character” and all charges against her were “baseless”. Her family has demanded the government provide justice and bring the culprits to book.

Saira was lashed in public and a video of the incident was uploaded on YouTube by an unknown person. The incident had caused a huge uproar in the country but authorities at that time had dismissed the video as fake.

The Taliban had imposed their own version of Islamic sharia law in the Swat valley, where men were forced to keep beards and no woman was allowed to step out of her home. The Pakistani military launched a massive operation in 2009 to flush out the terrorists from the valley.

(Awais Saleem can be contacted at

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