Samia Shahid murder: Ex-husband admits 'honour killing' of British woman in Pakistan

Ms Shahid's former husband and her father appear in court on suspicion of murder 

Katie Forster@katieforster
Saturday 13 August 2016 15:08
Samia Shahid died while visiting relatives in Pakistan
Samia Shahid died while visiting relatives in Pakistan

The ex-husband of a British woman who was the victim of an alleged 'honour killing' in Pakistan has admitted strangling her to death, police have said.

Samia Shahid, a 28-year-old beautician from Bradford, died while visiting relatives in her ancestral village in the northern Punjab region of the country.

Her family said she had a heart attack, but her husband Syed Mukhtar Kazam believes she was murdered in a so-called 'honour killing' because the family did not approve of her marriage to him.

Ms Shahid's former husband Choudhry Shakeel was arrested today along with her father on suspicion of murder – and Mr Shakeel has since confessed he drugged and strangled his ex-wife, according to Pakistani newspaper Dawn.

Deputy Inspector General Abubakar Khuda Bakhsh, the investigating officer in the case, told Reuters Mr Shakeel and Ms Shahid's father, Choudhry Shahid, had appeared in court in Pakistan.

“The court has sent them to police custody for physical remand of four days,” Mr Bakhsh said. “Once facts are established, we would be in a better position to say if it is an honour killing or a murder as revenge.”

The case has attracted attention because it came days after the high-profile 'honour killing' of outspoken social media star Qandeel Baloch, dubbed 'the Kim Kardashian of Pakistan'.

Ms Baloch's brother has been arrested in relation to her death.

'Honour killing' confession

Mr Kazam said last month he believed his wife Ms Shahid had been poisoned and then strangled. He said they had both received death threats from her family in the past.

The couple married in Leeds in 2014 after Ms Shahid left her first husband, a cousin from Pakistan, to be with him despite her family’s disapproval.

According to The News newspaper in Pakistan, a forensic report has confirmed that she was murdered.

It said the report “stated clearly that her death had been caused due to suffocation, as she was stopped from breathing”.

Mr Kazam claimed there was a 7.5in bruise on his wife’s neck and he had seen a copy of a post-mortem report.

He said the 28-year-old had moved to live in Dubai with him last year but had made trips to UK to talk to her parents about her relationship.

She visited Pakistan after she was told her father was ill, he added.

Mr Kazam said she was healthy and he did not believe her death could have been due to natural causes.

Some 500 women are killed every year in Pakistan by relatives who feel their family has been shamed by a daughter or sister socialising with men, eloping or otherwise infringing conservative demands on women's modesty.