By Aamir Majeed
On the run since three months, a man wanted for murdering his brother-in-law and injuring sister for honour was arrested from Faisalabad last week, by a team of the SSP Investigation East-I.
According to police, the accused during interrogation confessed that he had attempted to kill both his sister and brother-in-law for having married out of freewill; his sister survived the attack.
On April 16, 27-year-old Muhammad Azam, and his wife, Samia, were stabbed by Abdullah at a house in Mulla Essa Goth, Gulshan-e-Maymar. They were taken to the Abbasi Shaheed Hospital (ASH) for treatment where Azam was declared dead on arrival; Samia was moved to Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre (JPMC) for further treatment.
An FIR was registered with the Gulshan-e-Maymar police against Abdullah by Azam’s brother, Muhammad Ishaq.
Gulshan-e-Maymar police station’s Sub-Inspector Muhammad Zafar Iqbal Khokhar told The News that Abdullah had attempted to kill the couple because he they brought ‘dishonour’ to his family.
He said it was difficult for the police to locate the accused in Punjab, since neither the complainant nor the victims’ neighbour, Mukhtar Jan, had his exact whereabouts.
The IO added that the police traced Abdullah through a mobile number which they used to acquire his house address and necessary identification details.
The accused was a mechanic and ran a workshop in Faisalabad’s area of Samundari. It was after a letter was written to the Sindh Home Department that a police team was allowed to arrest Abdullah in Punjab.
SI Khokhar said the accused somehow got suspicious and left for Islamabad; he had returned to Faisalabad a day before Eid but started residing in a mosque. According to police, Abdullah said he visited Karachi and lived with his sister and brother-in-law three times before. He said Azam refused to sleep in the house in his presence but he managed to have Azam agreed on sleeping in the house on the night of the killing.
HRCP’s media monitoring and human rights violations’ reports show a rising trend in cases of honour killing across the country. As per HRCP’s statistics, 1,007 cases were reported in Pakistan in 2015, in which 467 women and 87 men were murdered. The statistics revealed that in 151 cases out of a total of 1,007, victims were murdered for contracting freewill marriage.
Talking to The News, former DIG South Karachi Abdul Khaliq Sheikh – author of a book on honour killing – stressed upon improving the ratio of convictions in such cases.
Sheikh said there is a dire need to sensitise the judiciary since legislation over honour killing was improved over a period of time. He said low conviction rate also results due to families of victims striking a compromise with the perpetrators, since most of them are related by blood.