ISLAMABAD: Pakistani police are investigating after a British man claimed his wife had been murdered in a so-called “honour” killing, ten days after the death of a social media star cast a spotlight on the practice.
Mukhtar Kazam registered a complaint with police in Punjab province claiming his wife, 28-year-old Samia Shahid, was murdered in her family’s village while visiting them.
The couple, both British-Pakistani dual citizens, had been married for two years and were living in Dubai, police told AFP, adding that it was Shahid’s second marriage.
“Her parents did not approve,” local police official Aqeel Abbas said, citing Kazam’s complaint.
He said Shahid was visiting her family’s village Pindori in Punjab’s Jehlum district.
“She was killed on July 20. She has been killed for honour,” Abbas said, quoting the complaint.
Officers are now waiting for a post-mortem report, he said, without specifying how Shahid’s husband alleged she was murdered.
In his own statement to police, Shahid’s father denied any charges that his daughter was killed for “honour”, adding that he did not want an investigation as she had died of natural causes.
“Honour” killings — a custom in which a relative is killed by another for bringing the family dishonour — are a near daily occurrence in Pakistan.
The victims are overwhelmingly women, with hundreds killed each year.
Earlier this month the murder of social media star Qandeel Baloch by her brother, who said it was for “honour”, provoked international shock and revulsion.
The killing polarised Pakistan and appears to have spurred politicians to take action. Last week the law minister announced that bills aimed at tackling loopholes that facilitate “honour” killings would soon be voted on by parliament.
Rights groups and politicians have for years called for tougher laws to tackle perpetrators of violence against women in Pakistan.