The ex-husband of a British Pakistani woman who died in an alleged “honour killing” has admitted to her murder.
Bradford-born Samia Shahid, 28, was killed visiting relatives in northern Punjab last month. Her family claimed she had died of a heart attack but her second husband insisted that she had been murdered because her family was unhappy with the couple’s marriage.
Ms Shahid’s ex-husband, Choudhry Shakeel, was arrested along with her father Muhammad Shahid on Saturday.
On Monday, the BBC reported that Shakeel had issued a confession in which he allegedly admitted to strangling Ms Shahid with a scarf.
He reportedly said he had ordered Ms Shahid to leave her second husband and remarry him, but she refused to do this.
Ms Shahid’s second husband Syed Mukhtair, who had previously revealed pictures of his wife’s body with noticeable scarring on her neck, welcomed the news.
“I hope that justice will be done and I will fight for it. I will fight for justice for my wife and I want to see every one of the accused facing charges in a court of law,” he told the Daily Telegraph.
While Shakeel has confessed, such confessional statements have no evidential value in court.
Senior police officers, however, say that investigations will continue into Ms Shahid’s killing.
“It is a complicated case. We are looking for solid evidence to produce in court and for that we are investigating on a scientific basis”, one officer said.
Shortly after Ms Shahid’s death, a forensic examination confirmed that she had been strangled, contrary to her family’s claim that she died of a heart attack.
Her case became high-profile in Pakistan after Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, the country’s interior minister, ordered a full investigation.
Naz Shah, the British MP for Bradford, has also campaigned to uncover the real circumstances of Ms Shahid’s death.
More than 1,000 women in Pakistan were victims of honour killings in 2015, according to a report by the country’s independent Human Rights Commission.