Justice, Safety For Slain Tribal Woman Officer – Children Demand

LANDIKOTAL:  The tribal female education officer Rizwana Shaheen Burki who bravely faced challenges left many questions behind for the man-dominated society after she was brutally killed in Landikotal, family members said. 

Rizwana Shaheen, hailed from the merged tribal district South Waziristan, had got commission as officer in management cadre in 2011.She had masters in education and had completed teaching course from United States consulate in Peshawar with outstanding grade. 

Rizwana Shaheen marriad with Najibullah,resident of Domail Bannu in 2011.She got four children namely Areesha,9, Eleen,7,Sawer,4 and Salar,2.

Family of Rizwana demanding justice for Rizwana and safe custody her children who are with the her husband family.They are worried for the safety of Rizwana’s children.

Late Rizwana family said her children could also be hurt as the family of Rizwana husband would not take care of her innocent children.

 Nadia Khan said she feel proud as Rizwana’s niece as she defied all odds during her career despite the hard core man dominated society when she appointed as education Officer. 

She said that Rizwana fought with the Pashtoon cultural taboos and faced manay challenges during her official duty.

Rizwana Shaheen served as a Subdivisional Education Officer(SDEO) in FR Bannu, Swat and Landikotal tehsil in district Khyber.

Her invaluable contributions encompassed the planning and implementation of educational schemes, the effective management of human resources and her unwavering dedication to the student enrollment program in districts she served,education officials said. 

Wajid Khan Afridi, Assistant Subdivisional District Education Officer(ASDEO)in district Khyber, said Rizwana was a committed officer to promote girls education and uplift her community in Newly Merged Tribal Districts(NMDs).He said with her unwavering determination she earned a good name as female education officer in a very short period of time.

“Her remarkable journey began as a dedicated officer and her exceptional capabilities led Rizwana to rise to administrative position in education department”,said Wajid Khan Afridi. 

This correspondent found Rizwana family members in a deep shock and fear after she was stabed to death in Landikotal recently three weeks ago.

Her niece Nadia Khan said that still they did not believe that Rizwana is not among them. She said what remained vivid in their memories was the powerful image of Rizwana holding her 12-month-old baby in her lap while washing dishes with her soapy hands simultaneously balancing her mobilephone between her face and shoulder while talkig to her subordinate discussing an urgent official matter.

She said this powerful image encapsulates the essence of Rizwana’s relentless pursuit of her dreams.

Family members and officials said, Rizwana had to rise as top management officer in coming few years and it was her dream which she could not fulfilled,leaving them to mourn the loss of a bright light extinguished too soon.

They said though her life was unjustly cut short, her legacy of resilience and unwavering determination would forever inspire those who strive to make a difference in tribal society. She was opposed and a number of hurdles were created for her as woman when she decided to join education department as an officer in  far away from her in-laws village in Domail. 

“She was a committed and dedicated officer and never denied to perform duty in hard areas where people rarely accept woman to be their immediate line manager, her niece said. Adding that she always take her children with her and foucsing on their education.

 “It was her dream to wipe out all taboos from Pashtun society so that women could equily participate in fields of life”, Nadia said. 

Nadia showed a page from Rizwana’s diary on which Rizwana wrote a few days before her tragic death.She wrote that she had been transferred from Swat to Landikotal but still she is receiving phone calls and text messages from Swatis who gave her love and respect. 

Rizwana Shaheen, a grade-17 officer was allegedly stabed to death by her husband Najibullah due to unknown reasons at her official residence in Laddikotal this two weeks ago. According to police Najibullah has accepted the crime during initial investigation.

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