Pakistan: Man Murders Two Sisters for Choosing Their Own Husbands

AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis
AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis

Thirty-five-year-old Nasir Hussain, of Pakistan’s Punjab province, has been arrested for the double murders of his sisters, 22-year-old Kosar and 28-year-old Gulzar Bibi, in the latest “honor killing” case. Hussain shot his sisters because they married the men of their choice, for love.

The murders were committed on July 29, just days after “a British woman of Pakistani origin was allegedly killed by her father and former husband for marrying her second husband against her parents’ wishes.” In another incident, a social media star was strangled by her brother after exposing an Islamic cleric’s violations of Sharia law, including sexual advances towards her, according to The Indian Express.

Hussain reportedly wanted his sisters to marry someone within their extended family.

“The brother shot dead both the sisters yesterday and fled the site. It is a simple case of killing for honor,” said a police officer quoted by the Daily Times of Pakistan.

“He ruined my family, he destroyed us, he destroyed everything,” said Atta Mohammad, father of the killer and his victims.

The Daily Times reviews the current state of the honor-killing crisis in Pakistan:

Hundreds of women are murdered by their relatives across the country every year on the pretext of defending what is seen as family honor.

Pakistan’s law minister also announced this month that bills aimed at tackling “honor killings” and boosting rape convictions would soon be voted on by parliament, because of the mounting pressure to tackle a pattern of crime that claims around 1,000 lives a year.

The perpetrators of these so-called honour killings — in which the victim, normally a woman, is killed by a relative — often walk free because they can seek forgiveness for the crime from another family member.

The British woman mentioned by The Indian Express, Samia Shahid, was visiting her estranged parents in Pakistan when she was strangled in what her husband alleges was an honor killing. The original post-mortem somehow missed the “nail scratches, bulging eyes, crushed larynx, and broken neck bones” found by a later investigation, allowing the family to claim the 28-year-old woman died of “natural causes.”