The husband of a Bradford woman who died in a suspected honour killing in Pakistan has said he wants the world to know what happened to her to bring a stop to the brutal practice.
Syed Mukhtar Kazam, who married Samia Shahid in 2014, believes she was murdered for bringing dishonour on her parents by converting to Shia Islam before their wedding. Shahid, 28, had been living with Kazam in Dubai and was previously married to Muhammed Shakeel, who was also her first cousin. Shakeel, who is accused of her murder appeared in court for a second time on Wednesday (17) along with the 28-year-old’s father Muhammad Shahid.
Shakeel confessed last Saturday (13) to strangling Shahid with a scarf in the village of Pandori, northern Punjab, according to reports.
He and her father who is being held as an accessory to murder, were remanded for a further five days by a Pakistani judge. Speaking from Pakistan, where Kazam, 30, has travelled to in order to put pressure on the investigation, he said: “My wife was all I had. I am numb, I don’t have words to describe the way I feel now. “I can’t bring her back, this is the greatest loss of my life. She was my everything, all I can do now is get justice. We need to know how it happened, I want the world to know that you can’t just take anyone’s life, that women must be respected.”
Shahid, a beautician working for a real estate company in Dubai, and her second husband had previously been threatened by her family because they were unhappy with her marriage, according to Kazam.
She flew to Pakistan last month after being told that her father was ill and died the day before she was due to fly back to Dubai. Kazam, who met Shahid in London, was told by relatives over the phone that she died of a heart attack. He was later told she committed suicide. “If I didn’t come to Pakistan, we would never know. They said she died of a heart attack, then said she committed suicide. She was excited to come back the very next day. “She died because she loved me. The truth has to come out, I’m trying my best. All I want is the people who are standing with me to put some pressure (on) so that people like that will stop doing what they are doing.
“People should learn a lesson, what crime did she do? She wasn’t selling drugs, all she did was love a person and marry a person, and she was leading a very happy life.”
Shahid’s devastated husband, who was born in Pakistan and moved to Dubai when he was one, said the pair had received threats from her family in the past. He added: “It’s not fair, it shouldn’t have happened, and we have to stop this practice. I’m so grateful to everyone who is helping me to bring out the truth.”
Shahid’s father has denied any involvement and said he did not want an investigation to be carried out, claiming his daughter died of natural causes. A post-mortem examination has confirmed she died as a result of being strangled, police say. Hundreds of women are killed each year in honour killings in Pakistan.