LAHORE: The mystery surrounding the murder of a Pakistani-origin British woman has been solved with her former husband confessing to having killed her for marrying a person from the Shia sect, police said today.
Samia Shahid, 28, was found dead on July 20 at her parents' house in Mangla area of Jhelum district in Punjab province.
Her ex-husband and father appeared in court today for their involvement in the "honour" killing.
"Chaudhry Shakil, the first husband of Samia, has confessed to have strangled her on July 20. He said he had a grudge against her for marrying a man of other sect," said a police official involved in the investigation.
He said police are also investigating the role of Samia's parents for abetment to murder.
"It appears that Shakil murdered Samia with the consent of her parents who changed their statements to save the accused," the official said, adding that Samia's father's different claims about her death were to cover up the crime.
Chaudhry Shahid, Samia's father, earlier had claimed that she died of cardiac arrest and later changed his statement to claim that she had committed suicide. "He (Shakil) has been arrested along with the father of the murdered woman and further legal proceeding will be worked out," another police official said.
Samia, a resident of Dhok Pandori village, some 230 km from Lahore, had come to Pakistan from Dubai in mid July to see her ailing father and was allegedly murdered on July 20.
Her murder came over a week after social media celebrity Qandeel Baloch was strangled by her brother "for disgracing" family honour which caused international uproar forcing the Pakistani government to announce the introduction of strict legislation against those involved in honour killings.
Syed Mukhtar Kazim, second husband of Samia, told police that his wife had been killed by her family members for marrying against the will of her parents.
"My wife converted to Shia -- my sect -- before wedding which had irked her parents," Kazim had said, calling upon the UK and Pakistani governments to ensure justice is done.
Police have registered the case against five accused, including Samia's father, mother Imtiaz Bibi, sister Madiha Shahid, cousin Mobeen and Samia's first husband Shakil under sections 302 (murder), 34 and 109 of the Pakistan Penal Code.
According to the autopsy report, Samia had marks on her neck, suggesting that she had been strangled.
Kazim and Samia, both British-Pakistani dual citizens, had been married for two years and were living in Dubai.
A beauty therapist from Bradford, Samia had previously been married to her first cousin Shakil but the couple parted ways after divorce in May 2014. She then married Kazim of Taxila in September 2014 and both started living in Dubai.
"Samia's mother phoned her on July 11 and asked her to come to Pakistan to see her ailing father. Samia arrived in Pakistan on July 14," Kazim said.
"She told me by phone that her father was all right and now she was getting threats to her life. On July 20, my wife's phone was switched off and on contacting Mobeen, her cousin, he told me that Samia had suffered a heart attack and died," Kazim said.