Pakistan holds father, ex-husband over 'honour killing'

Father and ex-husband of British woman Samia Shahid detained on suspicion of murdering her in Pandori village in Punjab.

    Police is Pakistan say Samia Shahid was strangled - her family initially claimed she died of natural causes  [Facebook]
    Police is Pakistan say Samia Shahid was strangled - her family initially claimed she died of natural causes [Facebook]

    Pakistani police say they have arrested the former husband and the father of a British woman on suspicion of murder after her second husband alleged she was the victim of an "honour killing" for remarrying.

    Samia Shahid, 28, a beautician from Bradford who was visiting her family in Pakistan, died last month in the village of Pandori in northern Punjab province.

    The case attracted attention because it came days after the "honour killing" of outspoken social media star Qandeel Baloch, whose brother has been arrested in the case.

    Deputy Inspector General Police Abubakar Khuda Bakhsh, the investigating officer in the case, said police on Saturday arrested Shahid's ex-husband - her cousin Chaudhry Shakeel - and her father, Chaudhry Mohammad Shahid.

    "The court has sent them to police custody for physical remand of four days," Bakhsh said. "Once facts are established, we would be in a better position to say if it is an honour killing or a murder as revenge."

    Shahid's relatives have said that she died of a heart attack, but her husband, Kazim Mukhtar, said last month that he believed she had been poisoned and then strangled.

    He said they had both received death threats from her family in the past.

    Less than two weeks before Shahid died, Baloch, 26, who had divided opinion in the deeply conservative Muslim society by regularly posting revealing photos on social media, was found strangled and her brother was arrested.

    About 500 women are killed each year in Pakistan by relatives who feel their family has been shamed by a daughter or sister hanging out with men, eloping or otherwise infringing conservative demands on women's modesty.

    Baloch's death led Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's ruling party to announce that it would pass long-delayed legislation outlawing "honour killing" within weeks.

    The new law is still pending.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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