A mother of six was smothered to death by her husband after 17 years of marriage on Wednesday evening, allegedly for refusing to take a divorce.
The man turned himself over to the police and confessed he had murdered his wife, said police and family sources.
The police quoted Naeem Ahmed*, a resident of Balakot, as saying that he worked as a contractor in Rawalpindi and would visit home once or twice a month. “During my absence, my wife developed illicit relations with a villager,” he alleged. He also said he had tried to persuade his wife to get a divorce several times, but she did not agree. “Last week, we had a fight and she fractured her arm. Even then, she was adamant she would not take a divorce,” said Ahmed.
On Wednesday, he took her to Mansehra for a medical checkup. On their way back, he checked into a hotel, where he smothered her to death. He said he had no regrets as he had saved his family’s ‘honour’ by punishing a woman who was disloyal to her husband.
Incidents of honour killings in Hazara Division have shown a marked increase in the past few months. Earlier on Tuesday evening, a schoolteacher in Palas valley was allegedly killed by her father-in-law when she was seen taking to her alleged boyfriend. In December 2011, four persons, including two women, were also killed in the name of honour.
*Names have been changed to protect identity
Published in The Express Tribune, January 6th, 2012.