A British woman was strangled and died from the attack, and her ex-husband has since admitted to being responsible for her death, stating that it was an “honor killing.” Samia Shahid, who was a 28-year-old beautician from Bradford, died while she visited her relatives in her family’s home village in the northern Punjab region of Pakistan.
Shahid’s family states that she had died of a heart attack, yet her current husband, Syed Mukhtar Kazam, insisted that he believes his wife was murdered in an honor killing because the family did not approve of her marriage to her second husband Kazam.
Father & first husband of Samia Shahid, alleged victim of so-called honour killing, appear in court in Pakistan https://t.co/29orkwcKtI
— BBC News (UK) (@BBCNews) August 13, 2016
Former husband to Shahid, Choudhry Shakeel was arrested today, as was Shahid’s father on the suspicion that the two conspired to murder her. Since the arrest, Shakeel has confessed to drugging and then strangling his ex-wife as The Independent relays.
The investigating officer in the case, Deputy Inspector General Abubaka Khuda Bakhsh, indicated that Mr. Shakeel and Ms. Shahid’s father. Choudhry Shahid, appeared in court in Pakistan.
“The court has sent them to police custody for physical remand of four days. Once facts are established, we would be in a better position to say if it is an honour killing or a murder as revenge.”
This specific case is making headlines due to coming only days after an additional high-profile honor killing of well-known social media star Qandeel Baloch, who has been termed the Kim Kardashian of Pakistan. It was Ms. Baloch’s brother who is accused of the star’s murder and has been arrested in relation to her death.
— faryalmkhatri (@faryalmkhatri) August 12, 2016
The Toronto Star relays details about the high-profile case involving the death of Baloch, who reportedly brought shame to her family by changing her name and posting provocative social media content.
“[The victim] changed her [name] to Qandeel Baloch and became famous, shocking this conservative Islamic country with risqué videos that showed her in skin-tight clothing grinding against men.”
However, her father Muhammed Azeem defends his daughter and loved her regardless. He shared his views of his daughter whose new name meant “torch” in their native language.
“I supported everything she did. I liked everything she did. My son was wrong. I will not forgive him.”
As the publication shares, it was Baloch’s father’s love that helped make her a role model for a younger generation of Pakistani women. Yet his encouragement may have been indirectly to blame for her death, as it was then her brother who stepped in to bring “honor” back to their family. The publication shares the details about the young woman’s murder at her brother’s hands.
“Her younger brother Muhammed Wazeem seethed. Villagers would constantly show him her Facebook posts and criticize his family for allowing her to make the videos. He decided he had to save the family’s “honour.” Last month, he drugged Baloch and then, as their parents slept downstairs, strangled her.”
As the publication notes, this was a case of a young woman who came from nothing to build a platform where she attempted to bridge tradition with modernity, yet was stopped in her tracks. Many found her behavior to be too inappropriate and the old ways were not easily bridged with the more liberal ways and mindsets of the younger generation. Her sister, Munawar Azeem, spoke about Quandeel, noting the struggle women face in Pakistan.
“Women here are strictly controlled. It’s our tradition, but Qandeel was stubborn, she always wanted more, had different ideas.”
Her mother Anwar Bibi spoke about her daughter, noting that she never cared about what anyone thought.
“I don’t know why she was the way she was, but she never cared what anyone thought. She was always brave.”
[Photo via Qandeel Baloch’s Instagram]