PESHAWAR (Staff Report) – It has been over a decade when Taliban insurgents first established their authority in Pakistan’s tribal areas, North and South Waziristan, and almost made it impossible for a woman to freely walk in local markets. The trend still continues, regardless of military action in the region which resulted in end of Taliban rule.
Women are instructed to wear burqa and accompany a male family member while visiting public places. However there is a woman, who has never stopped from visiting the public places and markets despite not wearing veil or being escorted by a male, not even during the Taliban regime.
This woman is named Gul Jima, and she alone visits Wana’s main market in Wacha Khawarah villege, without cladding any burqa, while armed men keep on roaming in the market to maintain the order.
Jima is a widow and had arrived in Pakistan’s tribal areas some decades ago, along with her six children, from Afghanistan. She has been seen sitting at the Wana main market for years, telling unbelievable, fantastic stories about her past to anyone willing to listen, and in exchange for her stories, the locals give her loose change.
Because of her fearlessness in the face of the Taliban, and her stories based on fantasy that she insists are true, the locals believe that Gul Jima is mentally unstable. They use word ‘Lewanai’, which means mentally ill person in local language, to describe her situation.
Gul Jima reminds tribal people of pre-Taliban time, when everybody was free to visit public places and peace prevailed in the areas.
H/T Express tribune.