Pakistani mother burns daughter alive over elopement

Perveen Bibi tricked her seventeen-year-old daughter into returning home, after she eloped with her boyfriend, with an intention to kill for shaming the family.

Photo by: AP
Photo by: AP

Hassan Khan shows picture of dead wife Zeenat Bibi after she was killed by her mother

A Pakistani girl was burned alive by family members on Wednesday after she eloped with her boyfriend without her family’s approval.

Perveen Bibi  deceived her daughter, Zeenat Bibi, 17, by telling her she would arrange a proper wedding ceremony for the couple, if she returned home.

Upon her return, police say the mother tied her daughter to a cot and drenched her with kerosene before setting her a blaze.

Senior police officer, Haidar Ashraf told AFP that "Perveen Bibi killed her daughter Zeenat Bibi by burning her alive around 9:00 am on Wednesday.”

Following the crime, the mother did not attempt to hide her action, hitting the streets, screaming she killed her daughter, who shamed the family.

The mother’s sister, Naseem, said: "My sister declared a long time ago she would not allow her daughter to marry a Pashtun.”

She added, quoting her sister, "People! I have killed my daughter for misbehaving and giving our family a bad name."

The main reason for the family’s disapproval over the marriage was Zeenat’s husband, Hassan Khan, being an ethnic Pashtun whereas Zeenat was Punjabi. 

Family members comfort Hassan Khan,the husband of Zeenat, who was burned alive, allegedly by her mother

Nighat Bibi, a neighbour, said although neighbours rushed to help Zeenat, the family prevented them from entering the house.

“Honour killings” are common in the South Asian country. In 2015 approximately 1,100 women were killed by family members over “shaming the family name.”  

Last week, a schoolteacher was set on fire when she refused to marry a man twice her age.

Hassan Khan shows his marriage certificate to media at his home in Lahore, Pakistan Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Khan said his wife’s mother and uncle had visited them, convincing Zeenat to return home and arrange a proper wedding celebration.

He said: “After living with me for four days, following our marriage, her family contacted us and promised they would throw us a proper wedding party after eight days.”

“Zeenat was unwilling to go back to her home and told me that she would be killed by her family, but later agreed when one of her uncles guaranteed her safety.

“After two days, she called me and said that her family had gone back on their word and asked me to come to get her, but I told her to wait for the promised eight days. Then she was killed.”

Police arrested Zeenat's mother, while her brother, who is believed to have helped in the killing, is still at large.

Law controversy

According to law, if family members forgive the criminal, the charges are dropped.

This has led to many cases where the killer has walked free because the family believes the daughter (who is usually killed) has shamed them.

Pakistan’s Prime Minister, Nawaz Sharif, had pledged, a few months back, to plug the loophole in the law with the aim to stop “honour killings.”

Most “honour killings” in Pakistan go unreported.

Zeenat's killing for "honour" was the third such case in Pakistan in as many as three months.

TRTWorld and agencies