By Mubasher Bukhari
LAHORE, Pakistan, Aug 22 – Pakistani police are preparing to charge a man with the murder of his former wife, a 28-year-old British woman who died last month in a suspected “honour killing”, the investigating officer in the case said on Monday.
Samia Shahid, a beautician from Bradford, northern England, died in the village of Pandori in northern Punjab province while visiting her family. Her second husband had alleged that she was killed because she remarried.
Deputy Inspector General Abubakar Khuda Bakhsh told Reuters that Shahid’s ex-husband – her cousin Shakeel – would be charged with murder while her father would also be charged with involvement in her death, although the charges had not been finalised while investigations continue.
Police say Shakeel has confessed to strangling Shahid with a scarf but Bakhsh said a confession would not be enough to establish his guilt.
“Therefore, we have collected some forensic evidence against him which we will mention in our final report to the court,” he said. “Shahid, father of Samia, also has involvement in her killing to some extent.”
The father has denied any involvement in the case.
The chargesheet will be ready by the end of the month and both were remanded in custody during a court hearing on Monday.
Shahid’s relatives have said she died of a heart attack, but her husband, Kazim Mukhtar, told Reuters last month that he believed she had been poisoned and then strangled.
The case attracted attention because it came days after the high-profile killing of outspoken social media star Qandeel Baloch, whose brother has been arrested in that case.
Hundreds of women are killed every year in Pakistan by relatives who feel shamed by a daughter or sister for acting in a way – such as fraternising with men or eloping – that they perceive to have damaged their family’s honour.