Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 24 October 2019

Pregnant woman and husband gunned down in Pakistan ‘honour killing’

Relatives who opposed their marriage shot the couple in their heads and dumped their bodies in a canal.

Islamabad // A pregnant woman and her husband were abducted and shot dead by relatives who disapproved of their marriage, police said on Sunday in the latest in a surge of so-called “honour killings” in Pakistan.

The couple were murdered near the village of Thikriwala in Punjab province last Wednesday, said senior local police official Malik Waris. Their bodies were discovered after they washed up in a canal.

Aqsa Bibi, 22, and Shakeel Ahmed, 26 – who both worked at a local pharmacy – got married in a court ceremony four years ago, Mr Waris said.

Aqsa was expecting a child. It was not immediately clear how many months pregnant she was. Their match enraged Aqsa’s family, who lived in a nearby village.

Matters came to a head when one of her brothers, Muhammad Moavia, who recently returned from abroad assembled a group of relatives to kidnap the couple.

They shot them both in the head and dumped their bodies in the canal.

Raids were under way but the accused remain at large, said Mr Waris. Another police official, Muhammad Azhar, confirmed the incident.

It was the latest in a string of killings thought to be defending what is seen as family honour. Such killings 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.

Prime minister Nawaz Sharif vowed to eradicate the “evil” of honour killings amid publicity for the Oscar-winning film on the subject, A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness.

However, no fresh legislation has yet been tabled.

* Agence France-Presse

Updated: June 19, 2016 04:00 AM