A pregnant woman and her husband in Pakistan were tortured and murdered by relatives who disapproved of their marriage, an incident that is part of what is becoming a growing trend in the south Asian nation.
According to CNN, “Aqsa Shakeel, 26, and her husband, Muhammad Shakeel, 30, were visited by a group of relatives on Wednesday.” Aqsa Shakeel’s family did not approve of the marriage. After the family showed up to the family’s home in Thikriwala, in Pakistan’s eastern Punjab province, the two were abducted, tortured and killed by members of Aqse family, which included Aqsa’s brother, Muhammad Mauvia, and her mother, Majeeda Bibi.
Having not heard from his son, Muhammad Kushi, the husband’s father, notified authorities, who began a search for the couple.
The search came to a tragic end when both Aqsa and Muhammad Shakeel were found dumped in a canal. An autopsy concluded that they had both been tortured before being shot in the head.
Only one family member of Aqsa has been arrested. Her mother and brother have not been arrested as reported by CNN.
The killing is the latest in a series of similar attacks. The Hindustan Times notes that another pregnant woman, Muqaddas Bibi, was found with her throat slashed in Gujranwala, Pakistan, this week. Bibi was seven months pregnant and had married a man her family disapproved of; authorities believe her family killed her.
According to Breitbart News, “An honor killing is not at all like ‘domestic violence’; it is a family conspiracy against a female member, usually a teenage daughter, for a range of alleged crimes: refusing to veil, veiling improperly, standing too close to a non-relative male, talking to a boy or a man on a cellphone, refusing an arranged marriage, choosing infidel friends or husbands, etc.”
These types of killings have been growing in popularity all over the Middle East and even in Western countries with growing Muslims populations such as the US and UK.
The UAE’s The National estimates that 1,000 people a year are murdered for “honor” in Pakistan annually.