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Kin kill Pakistani couple for marrying

AFP-JIJI, Reuters, AP

A Pakistani teenager and her husband were murdered in a remote eastern town by a group of relatives for marrying against their wishes, police said Saturday.

The killings come a month after a pregnant woman was beaten to death with bricks by members of her own family for marrying the man of her choice.

Maafia Bibi, 17, and her 31-year-old husband, Muhammad Sajjad, were attacked with a knife by Bibi’s father, her two uncles, grandfather and mother on Thursday night after inviting the couple to Bibi’s parents’ home.

The murders took place in a village that is part of the town of Daska, about 160 km (100 miles) east of the capital, Islamabad.

“Bibi’s parents invited Muhammad Sajjad and his wife to their house to settle the dispute, but hit them both with a sharped-edged knife, killing them both,” district police Chief Gohar Nafees said.

He said that the couple had received blows to their heads.

Bibi’s parents, uncles and grandfather admitted killing them in the name of honor, saying they were being insulted, Nafees said.

Her parents were unhappy with the marriage, which took place on June 18, because Sajjad was already married to another woman, he added.

“Police arrested Bibi’s parents, uncles and grandfather,” Nafees said, after the family’s neighbors told police about the incident.

Many Pakistani women have no say in who they marry and disobeying the wishes of relatives is believed to bring shame on the whole family.

In May, Farzana Parveen, 25, who was three months pregnant, was bludgeoned to death outside a court in the eastern city of Lahore by family members in a case that made headlines around the world.

She was at the court to testify in defense of her husband, who was accused by her relatives of kidnapping her and forcing her into the marriage.

According to authorities, Parveen’s husband, Mohammed Iqbal, was arrested over the October 2009 killing of his first wife, Ayesha Bibi. Police could not offer details about the slaying, but said the case was withdrawn after a family member forgave him.

Under Pakistani law, those charged with a slaying can see their criminal case dropped if family members of the deceased forgive them or accept “blood money” for the crime.

Last year 869 women died in so-called honor killings according to the independent Human Rights Commission of Pakistan.