The kin of a pregnant woman in Pakistan slit her throat to punish her for marrying against their wishes, police said on Sunday, one of the several horrific cases of “honour killing” that have surfaced over the past week in the country.
Muqaddas Bibi, who was seven months pregnant with her second child, was murdered in Gujranwala earlier this week. Bibi had eloped with her neighbour Shafiq two years ago, and married him in court, in defiance of her family's wishes. Last week, her family convinced her to return home while she was visiting a health centre near their house. She was told all had been forgiven but when she reached home, her father Bashir, mother Amna, and brothers Adeel and Naseer slashed her throat with a sharp-edged weapon.
When police reached the house, they found Bibi’s body but her family had fled. The body was shifted to a morgue for autopsy while forensic evidence was collected from the scene.
Another pregnant woman and her husband were abducted and shot dead by relatives near Thikriwala village in Punjab province last Wednesday, police officials told AFP on Sunday. Aqsa Bibi, 22, and Shakeel Ahmed, 26, worked at a local pharmacy and had married in a court ceremony four years back, though Aqsa’s family disapproved of their union. Their bodies were discovered after they washed up in a canal. Aqsa was expecting a child, though it was not immediately clear how many months pregnant she was.
Police said on Sunday one of Aqsa’s brothers assembled his relatives, who abducted the two, shot them in the head and dumped their bodies in the canal.
On Saturday, the parents of a Christian woman, Nasreen Shahzadi, 25, allegedly stabbed her to death for converting to Islam after marrying a Muslim man, Irfan Rehmani, in Punjab province’s Layyah district, some 350 km from Lahore. Shahzadi eloped with Rehmani three months ago and married him in court, a police official said, adding that Shahzadi’s parents invited the couple to their house, where they stabbed her to death and dumped her body in a field.
In another incident, a 23-year-old woman was paraded in her village’s streets after her face was blackened and her head was shaved, allegedly by her parents, for eloping with a man. “Honour” killings are thought to claim around 1,000 lives every year in Pakistan.
Last week a man’s throat was slit by relatives of his wife who disapproved of their match -- a rare instance of a male victim. The week before, 16 year-old Zeenat Bibi was killed in Lahore by her mother for marrying a man of her own choice — a case that sparked condemnation throughout the country.
(With agency inputs)