Pakistani police on December 10 were looking for four men believed to have killed a couple and their four children as retribution for a perceived “honor crime.”
Police officer Mohammed Aslam said the killings happened on December 9 in the town of Athara Hazari in central Pakistan.
Aslam said the men are believed to have hacked the family to death with axes and knives. One daughter, identified by police as Aisha, survived and relayed what happened to authorities. She and the other bodies were found after a man delivering milk to the house noticed that no one was coming to the door, Aslam said.
Aisha told authorities the killings stemmed from her mother’s first marriage nearly 30 years ago to another man, Aslam said.
Another police officer, Mian Mohammad, said Ghulam Fatima’s son from her first marriage visited the family a few days ago. He was joined the day after by three more men, who the police say helped him with the crime.
The surviving daughter told authorities that the son said he was taking revenge on her for leaving her first husband.
“It is an incident of honor killing,” said Mohammad.
In Pakistan, leaving one’s husband or marrying against a family’s wishes is extremely rare. Such actions are often perceived as crimes against the family’s honor and the woman can be killed in order to restore the family’s reputation.
Such retribution can be carried out years, even decades later. The killings are rarely prosecuted.