Zarteef Afridi, a 52-year-old teacher, was shot dead by unknown gunmen in Ghundai area near Jamrod Bazaar, Khyber Agency on Thursday, December 8, 2011. He was on his way to school, where he was serving as headmaster.
Besides being a dutiful teacher, Zarteef was a committed human rights worker. He was widely recognized as an advocate of equal rights for women and minorities.
He was one of the first Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) volunteers when the commission set up its network of human rights defenders all across Pakistan in 1992. He was coordinator for HRCP in Khyber Agency, one of the tribal areas in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) in the northeast of Pakistan. Zarteef was also an active member of several peace groups working in FATA for two decades.
Zarteef had been receiving threats from local militants for his work on peace and rights in FATA, but refused to back down. Despite repeated requests by the HRCP to bring his killers to justice, the authorities failed to apprehend the killers.