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Pakistan to try father, British woman's ex for rape, murder

07 September 2016, 18:56

Islamabad - The Pakistani police are recommending that the ex-husband and the father of a British woman who was killed while on a family visit to Pakistan be tried on rape and murder charges, according to a report shared exclusively with The Associated Press on Tuesday.

The report, which followed a weeks-long police inquiry, describes the killing of 28-year-old Samia Shahid as a "premeditated, cold-blooded murder."

The case is suspected to be the latest reported incident of so-called "honour killings." Nearly 1 000 women are murdered in Pakistan each year for violating conservative norms on love, marriage and public behaviour.

Shahid's father and ex-husband were arrested last month but have not been formally charged. The 28-year-old beautician of Pakistani origin was found dead in July in eastern Pakistan where her family buried her after declaring that she had died of a heart attack.

Shahid's second husband, Mukhtar Kazim, had raised the alarm, which resulted in the arrests and the subsequent inquiry. Kazim claims his wife was lured back by her family to visit Pakistan under the pretext of her father's illness.

The father and the ex-husband appeared in a court on Monday in the eastern Pakistani city of Jhelum, after the police investigation was completed, and were ordered held for 14 days pending charges and trial.

Also read: Pakistan social media star's brother arrested for murder

The Pakistani police report concluded that Shahid was strangled to death. It says that Shahid's father, Muhammad Shahid, stood guard while her ex-husband, Muhammad Shakeel, raped her. After that, they killed her together.

The report also is seeking the extradition of Shahid's mother, Imtiaz Bibi, and sister Madiha Shahid from the UK, both British nationals.

Police Deputy Inspector General Abu Bakar Khuda Bux, the chief investigator in the case, said the evidence was strong. Forensic and DNA tests confirmed the rape by the ex-husband, who apparently had never accepted that Shahid divorced him, he said.

"The result indicated a perfect match, thereby establishing that the victim was raped by accused Shakeel before she was murdered," the report said.

Shahid married her first husband in February 2012 but stayed only briefly in Pakistan before returning to England where she obtained a divorce two years later. After that, she married her second husband and moved with him to Dubai where Kazim works.

In 2015, the report said, Kazim said there were indications that he and his wife could be reconciled with her parents and family.

Earlier this summer, Shahid's mother and younger sister got her to agree to come for a week-long visit to Pakistan, claiming her father was gravely ill, but Kazim reported that his wife was apprehensive about the trip. The police inquiry found that Shahid had sent a text message to one of her friends, saying: "Pray I come back alive."

During her trip, the family and the ex-husband unsuccessfully tried to persuade Shahid to leave Kazim, the police report says. A day before her scheduled flight back to Dubai they went ahead with their plan to kill her, the report says and describes the killing in great detail, including that it was her husband who strangled Shahid with her scarf while the father held her legs.

Shahid's case surfaced less than two weeks after taboo-defying Pakistani social media celebrity Qandeel Baloch was strangled by her brother for posting racy photographs that were deemed shameful in Pakistan.

- AP

Tags pakistan uk

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