Pakistan Honour Killing: Mother pregnant with her second child has her throat slit by her family because they disapproved of her husband


By Thomas Burrows and AFP

A 22-year-old mother pregnant with her second child had her throat slit by her father, mother and brother because they disapproved of her husband.

Muqaddas Bibi married Taufiq Ahmed three years ago in defiance of her family, who considered a marriage for love – rather than an arranged marriage – shameful, police investigator Mohammad Arshad said.

The appalling murder is the latest horrific honour killing in conservative Muslim Pakistan.

Bibi, who is seven months pregnant, had severed ties with her family after her marriage.

But her mother and brother allegedly approached her at a clinic where she was having a check-up on Thursday and convinced her to come home, saying they accepted her decision.

Local police station chief Gohar Abbas said when Bibi reached her parents’ house, her father, brother and mother cut her throat with a knife and she died on the spot.

He said her family fled from their house after the murder in the village of Buttaranwali, around 75 kilometres (46 miles) north of Punjab provincial capital Lahore.

Police are hunting for them and have already detained another relative for inciting the killing, he added.

Bibi also had a 10-month old daughter.

Hundreds of women are murdered by their relatives in Pakistan every year on the pretext of defending what is seen as family honour.

Last week 16-year-old Zeenat Rafiq was burnt to death by her mother in Lahore for marrying without family consent, in a case that sparked widespread disgust throughout the country.

A week earlier teacher Maria Sadaqat was set on fire in Murree near Islamabad for refusing a marriage proposal. She died of her injuries.

On Sunday, a young girl, Anum Masih, was killed by her brother Saqib Masih for insisting on marrying the man of her choice in the city of Sialkot, also in Punjab.

He smashed her head with a wooden log, police said.

A film on honour killings in Pakistan won an Oscar for best documentary short in February.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif vowed to eradicate the ‘evil’ amid publicity for the film, ‘A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness’, but as yet no fresh legislation has been tabled.

In February, Punjab, the country’s largest province, passed a landmark lawcriminalising all forms of violence against women.

However, more than 30 religious groups, including all the mainstream Islamic political parties, have threatened to launch protests if the law is not repealed.

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