The heirs of deceased Afzal Kohistani, who was killed earlier this month for exposing the Kohistan video scandal, have expressed fears for their lives; demanding the authorities to ensure their security and means of livelihood.His brother, Gul Nazar, told media sources that after Kohistani’s death, the family’s rivals threatened them, warning them to prepare as they were next. “We are scared,” he said while adding, ” They want to remove all traces of our family from here.” He further maintained, “All other victims died silently, it was only Afzal that unmasked [the perpetrators] in national and international media.” Bin Yasir, another brother, said that Kohistani was fighting for the slain girls, his own brothers and for his family’s security in the Pakistani courts.Meanwhile, Nazar claimed that with 250 houses in the Gadar village of Pallas, their rivals were much stronger than their family, which only owned four houses. The two brothers were also featured in the video that had led to the honour killings of five women. They further remarked that since Kohistani was the sole breadwinner of their family, his death has left the lives of 18 orphans and widows, he was looking after, in jeopardy.However, they claimed that their fears had not shaken their resolve to continue the work started by their brother. Bin Yasir added that he had never gone out of the house since accused in the case.“Later, we were jailed for six months and bailed out. Since then, we have spent the last seven years in stress and fear. We and our families have been confined to living like refugees in the hilly area of Battagram district,” he continued. However, Afzal’s death forced him to take the risk of appearing before the media for the first time. He claimed that the family was at the moment living with a local elder but could not step outside to earn money for the 18 orphans and widows of his brothers.“Neither the media nor any government officials have visited us as yet. Afzal was the only one in contact with all of them. Now we are confused about what to do and how to go to courts for further hearings in the cases,” he added. Bin Yasir announced plans to appear in all their ongoing cases in the Supreme Court, the high court and the district court. Yet, he expressed concerns for his family and his safety. Another brother, Gul Shahzada, said, “We demand that our land and houses which have been occupied by our rivals are returned to us. The rivals intend to distribute hundreds of kanals of [our] land amongst the Azad Khel tribe, who [allegedly] contributed to the killings.”Urging the government to ensure their security at home and during court visits, he also appealed to the nearby tribes, including Kolai, to intervene to stop further killings of his family members and allowing them to earn a livelihood for themselves.“It was his [Afzal’s] dream to end the so-called honour killings in Kohistan. He wished to attain justice for his brothers and the slain girls,” Bin Yasir said as he pledged to continue his brother’s fight through the judicial system.He demanded the government to form a judicial commission to investigate how Kohistani could be killed in a crowded location in the vicinity of a police station.On Monday, a sub-divisional police officer of Allai tehsil, Ghulam Muhammad, said that security has been provided to one of Kohistani’s brothers, who appeared before the high court in Abbottabad in the video scandal case on his behalf.Muhammad further added that the police had received instruction from the regional police officer of Hazara division to provide the said family with security.Published in Daily Times, March 19th 2019.