Daddy held her down while ex strangled her

Heads we win, tails you lose. Jon Boone reports from Islamabad:

Family members accused of killing Samia Shahid, a British citizen who divorced and remarried without their permission, planned to use Pakistan’s much-criticised “blood money” laws to forgive her killer, a report into the case has alleged.

Police findings say the 28-year-old was the victim of “premeditated and cold-blooded honour killing”, which her family had hoped to get away with by exploiting Islamic laws the government has repeatedly promised to scrap.

The laws in question allow family members to pardon people who kill other family members – which of course makes “honor” killing risk-free: Daddy kills his daughter and her brother pardons Daddy. Everybody’s happy except the daughter, but she was their property anyway so that doesn’t matter.

Under Pakistan’s 25-year-old blood money laws, the guardians of murder victims can forgive their killers in return for compensation, even though family members often conspire with each other to commit such crimes.

Rights campaigners say the effective impunity created by the laws has helped fuel the problem of so-called “honour killings”. There were more than 1,000 such killings reported to police last year, although the real number is thought to be far higher.

Pakistan keeps saying it’s going to scrap those laws, but somehow the lawmakers never get around to it.

The report said Samia was sufficiently worried about her security not to tell her family when she was arriving and to arrange to be collected from the airport by a childhood friend, with whom she left her passport and return ticket as a safety measure.

The report said they decided to kill her the day before she was due to return to Dubai, having failed to persuade her to stay in Pakistan.

Shakeel was said to have confronted Samia in an upstairs bedroom of his large house in Pandori and demanded to know where her passport and return ticket were. After she refused to tell him, he attacked and raped her, the report said.

While trying to leave the house and threatening to alert the British government, she was confronted on the stairs by her father, it was claimed. Shakeel then strangled her with a scarf while her father held her legs, the report said.

That’s her father and the “husband” he forced on her.

Pakistan’s government has won international plaudits by repeatedly promising to reform the blood money laws in a move that could trigger angry opposition from some hardline clerics. Sharif promised to take action in February after a Pakistani documentary about “honour killings” was nominated for an Oscar.

In July, Sharif’s daughter, Maryam, said the law would be changed “within weeks”. While a bill is ready to go before both houses of parliament, no legislative action has been taken.

No problem. Take your time. There’s no hurry.

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