Pakistani father cuts the throats of daughter and man she married for love

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 29 June, 2014, 5:51am
UPDATED : Monday, 30 June, 2014, 7:09pm

A young couple in Pakistan have been tied up and had their throats slit with scythes after they married for love.

The girl, 17, and the 31-year-old man married on June 18 without the consent of their families in the eastern Punjabi village of Satrah.

The girl's mother and father lured the couple home late on Thursday with the promise that their marriage would receive a family blessing, local police official Rana Zashid said.

"When the couple reached there, they tied them with ropes," he said. "The girl's father cut their throats."

Police arrested the family, who said they had been embarrassed by the marriage of their daughter, Muafia Hussein, to a man from a less important tribe.

Cultural traditions in many areas of Pakistan mean that killing a woman whose behaviour is seen as immodest is widely accepted.

So-called immodest behaviour that sparked recent killings included singing, looking out of the window and talking to a man who was not a relative.

The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan said 869 so-called "honour killings" were reported in the media last year. But the true figure is probably much higher since many cases are never reported.

The weak Pakistani government, battling a troubled economy and a Taliban insurgency, does not collect centralised statistics and has no strategy to combat the killings.

Pakistani law means that even if a woman's killer is convicted, her family can forgive them.

Many families simply nominate a member to do the killing, then formally forgive the killer.

That's what happened earlier last week, a lawyer said, when a tribal council in central Pakistan's Muzaffargarh district sentenced another young couple to death for marrying for love.

The couple's lawyer, Zia Kiyyani, said the two had appealed for police protection after their marriage on June 21, but had not received any.

The 19-year-old woman's family came to take her from her husband's family, swearing on the Koran that they would not harm her and would hold a proper wedding ceremony, the lawyer said.

"The girl shouted and cried because she knew that they would kill both of them," he said.

The woman, Mehreen Bibi, was shot by a member of her family when she returned home. Her husband went into hiding and her father registered the murder complaint so he could forgive the killer.