The elder sister of a pregnant woman stoned to death in Pakistan for marrying without her family's permission has said her new husband was responsible, and had forced her into marriage.

Khalida Bibi said on Saturday that her sister Farzana Parveen, 25, was murdered outside the High Court in Lahore on Tuesday by her new husband, Muhammad Iqbal, after the family protested against their marriage.

Bibi's statement in Lahore contrasts with police and witnesses who say Farzana was killed by a mob including her own father. Authorities have arrested seven people and are looking for a further 21 in connection with the death.

Bibi said: "Muhammed Iqbal and his accomplices killed Farzana, and her father and the rest of her family were wrongly accused of murder.

"I was present at the scene and when she came out of the lawyer's chamber and as soon as she saw us standing on the other side of the road, she rushed towards us. Iqbal and his accomplices chased her and hit her with bricks."

Bibi claimed that her sister had been coerced into marrying Iqbal, who earlier this week admitted killing his first wife because he was "in love with Farzana".

"She told me that Iqbal had kidnapped her and forced her into marriage," Bibi said. "She feared that Iqbal might kill her like his previous wife, Ayesha."

Iqbal was spared jail for the murder of his first wife, whose name has never been published, under Pakistan's blood-money laws after being forgiven by her son.

Meanwhile, other relatives of Farzana are believed to have left their homes after police said they were investigating the case.

Source: Reuters And AFP