Pakistani police have arrested the father and ex-husband of a British woman of Pakistani origin who was killed last month in what authorities suspect was an “honour killing,” a top investigator said on Monday.
Samia Shahid’s family buried her, claiming she had died of natural causes. But after her husband raised the alarm, the police reopened the case and later concluded the 28-year-old was strangled to death.
Abu Bakar Khuda Bux, the investigator heading the team, told The Associated Press that the woman’s father, Mohammad Shahid, and her former husband, Mohammad Shakeel, were prime suspects in the case.
The two were formally arrested on Sunday, although the police have been questioning them for several days, Bux said.
“All the evidence we have is leading to their involvement in the murder,” he said. “We are collecting more evidence before we sent the case to court.”
After her death, Shahid’s second husband, Mukhtar Kazim, accused the family of luring her back to Pakistan from Dubai, where the couple lived, on the pretext of her father’s illness. His statements prompted the investigation and Pakistani police eventually declared the case a murder.
According to two police officers, the ex-husband has confessed to the killing and has described to his interrogators how he used his ex-wife’s scarf to strangle her.
The officers, who are involved in the probe, spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorised to discuss the details with the media before the case goes to court.
Bux declined to comment on the purported confessions, saying the investigation is not yet finished.
After she married the first time, Shahid lived in Pakistan for a brief period before moving back to England where she got a divorce in 2014. Her family had lived Bradford since 1950s. Pakistan reports nearly 1,000 so-called “honour killings” every year.