LAHORE: Police today arrested the brother of a Pakistani woman for alleging burning her to death in an honour killing here last week.
Anees and his mother Parveen allegedly tied Zeenat, 18, to a bed, doused her with petrol and set fire to her on June 8 in Lahore’s thickly-populated factory area on Ferozpur Road, for marrying a man of her choice.
As her daughter burned, Parveen ran into the street shouting that she had killed Zeenat for “bringing shame on her family”.
Parveen had told police in custody that her daughter had committed an “unforgivable” crime by marrying a man, Hasan, after eloping with him.
“Police today arrested Anees, brother of Zeenat from Lahore,” Lahore police spokesman Nayyab Haider said.
Some 1,100 women were killed in the name of honour in Pakistan last year.
Parveen and Zeenat’s brother-in-law are already in police custody and facing a murder case under terrorism charges.
“Anees denied his involvement in the murder. He told police that his mother torched Zeenat while she (Parveen) shut her in a room. I loved my sister,” Haider quoted Anees as having said.
Zeenat reportedly fell in love with Hasan Khan, who lived in her locality, and asked her parents to accept the marriage proposal.
On their refusal, Zeenat eloped with him and contracted a court marriage on May 29.
Khan is an ethnic Pashtun while Zeenat was a Punjabi that was said to be the main cause of her family’s disapproval.
Khan said the two had been “in love since our school days” but the family had rejected several marriage proposals, forcing them to elope.
“After living with me for four days following our marriage, her family contacted us and promised they would throw us a proper wedding party after eight days. Then we would be able live together. Zeenat was unwilling to go back to her home and told me that she would be killed by her family, but later agreed when one of her uncles guaranteed her safety,” Khan said.
Khan said “Parveen told her that she and other family members had forgiven her and she should return to take the blessing of her family. But it was a trap”.
Last month police arrested five men including a suitor for torching a 19-year-old school teacher in Murree, 35 kilometres from Islamabad, for refusing to marry him.
Similarly, police arrested 13 members of a local tribal council including the parents of a a teenage girl for first strangulating and later torching her body in Abbotabad for marrying a man of her choice.