The husband of a woman stoned to death in Pakistan killed his first wife four years ago, police and relatives said.

Zulfiqar Hameed, a deputy inspector general for Punjab police, told the Associated Press on Thursday that authorities arrested Mohammed Iqbal for the October 2009 killing of his first wife, Ayesha Bibi.

Hameed could not offer details about the killing, but said the case was withdrawn after a family member forgave him.

His second wife, Farzana Parveen, 25, was killed on Tuesday in Lahore by a mob of family members, including her father and brothers, who beat her to death with bricks from a building site.

Pakistan's prime minister, Nawaz Sharif, called the stoning "intolerable" and ordered an investigation into the woman's killing.

Islamic law

Under Pakistani law, which is guided by Islamic principles, those charged over a death can have their criminal case dropped if family members of the dead forgive them or accept so-called "blood money" offerings.

The AP said it had tried to reach Iqbal at his village near the town of Jaranwala but that he could not speak because he was praying at his second wife's grave.

He did not respond to other requests for comment after that, it reported.

One of Iqbal's five children, Aurang Zeb, said his father killed his mother in 2009 over a dispute. He said his father was arrested but the children later forgave him and the case was withdrawn.

"We don't want to discuss whatever had happened in the past, but I confirm that we had forgiven our father Iqbal," Zeb told the AP, adding that his father was in a state of shock after his second wife's death.

Two of Iqbal's cousins also said he killed his first wife but said he had been forgiven by one of his sons.

Source: AP