Pregnant Woman, Husband Killed for 'Honour' in Pakistan

M Zulqernain/Lahore
Pregnant Woman, Husband Killed for 'Honour' in Pakistan

Three persons including a heavily pregnant woman and her husband have been killed for marrying without their family's consent in two separate cases, the latest incidents of "honour killing" in Pakistan days after another pregnant woman was killed by her mother.

In the first incident, Christian parents of a woman Nasreen Shahzadi, 25, allegedly stabbed her to death yesterday for converting to Islam after marrying a Muslim man, Irfan Rehmani, in the country's eastern Punjab province's Layyah district, some 350 kms from Lahore.

Shahzadi eloped with Rehmani three months ago and contracted court marriage, a police official said.

Her father Emanuel Masih talked to her over phone and told her that he and his wife had pardoned her, he said.

"The parents also invited the couple to their house. Yesterday, Shahzadi visited the house of her parents where they stabbed her to death and dumped her body in a field," the official said.

 A murder case was registered against the couple and their son but no arrests were made so far.

In a separate incident, Muhammad Shakil, 30, and his heavily pregnant wife Aqsa, 26, were shot dead for "honour" by Aqsa's brother who recently returned from Saudi Arabia.

The couple, married for four years and lived in Thikriwala village in the province, was killed for marrying without the family's consent.

Four days ago, Aqsa's brother along with their mother, maternal uncle and another accomplice barged into the couple's home and beat them mercilessly. Then they took the couple to an unidentified location and shot them.

The bodies were recovered from Gujra-Jang Branch canal on Thursday night.

Shakil worked at a government school in Faisalabad and Aqsa worked as a health visitor in Rural Health Centre.

Thikriwala Police Station has registered a case in this regard after a complaint by Shakil's father, Khushi Muhammad.

 An autopsy report revealed the deceased were killed by gun shots on their head. Injury marks were found on their bodies. The report showed Aqsa was pregnant and was likely to deliver a baby in about four days.

The police said that one suspect has been arrested while others were on the run.

Two days ago, a 22-year-old pregnant woman was killed by her mother in the province's Gujranwala for contracting marriage against their families' will.

Last week, an 18-year-old teen was burnt alive by her mother in Lahore for marrying a man of her choice.

 At least 1,100 women were killed in the name of honour in Pakistan last year by their relatives on the pretext of defending what is seen as family honour.

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