That boy

A 28-year-old woman from Bradford dies suddenly while visiting relatives in Pakistan.

Police are investigating the death of a British woman in Pakistan after her husband claimed she was the victim of an “honour” killing for marrying a man from outside the family allegedly against her parents’ wishes.

Samia Shahid, a beauty therapist from Bradford, died on Wednesday while visiting relatives in Pandori village near Mangla Dam in northern Punjab, the Foreign Office confirmed.

Shahid’s local MP, Naz Shah, has demanded that authorities in Pakistan exhume her body and commission an independent autopsy.

Her husband was told she’d had a heart attack. Someone else told the Guardian it was asthma.

Her husband said he feared she had been killed by her family, who he says refused to accept their relationship, partly as he was an “outsider”. Shortly before Shahid and Kazam married at Leeds town hall in September 2014, she had left her first husband, a first cousin from their village in Pakistan.

The family denies it.

“This is a terrible tragedy but she died of natural causes,” said Mohammed Ali, a cousin in Bradford. “The family did a postmortem. There’s no evidence whatsoever of murder.” He disputed Kazam’s claim of marriage, referring to him as “that boy, Samia’s so-called husband”.

That’s not a good sign.

A family friend in Bradford said on Sunday the family were not happy when Shahid married Kazam but had learned to accept their relationship because they loved her.

The Guardian has seen a witness statement submitted to Pakistani police by Shahid’s father, Mohammed Shahid, in which he refers to his daughter’s husband as her cousin Mohammed Shakeel, not Kazam. The Guardian has also seen a copy of Shahid and Kazam’s British marriage certificate, signed on 24 September 2014.

Yeeeeahhhh – if the father is still calling the first cousin she left her husband, that kind of undercuts the claim that the family had learned to accept the second marriage, doesn’t it.

Kazam, a Pakistani national, claims Shahid’s family did not approve of their “love marriage”. He says she moved to live with him in Dubai in May 2015, but had been back to Bradford twice in the past year to persuade her parents to accept the relationship.

Kazam claimed that at the start of July, Shahid was encouraged to travel to Pakistan because one of her aunts had died, but she chose not to travel to the country.

Kazam claimed Shahid was told that a relative was gravely ill in Pakistan and she flew to Islamabad on 14 July.

Shahid was due to return last Thursday but Kazam said he received a call on Wednesday from one of Shahid’s cousins saying she had had a heart attack and died. He told the Guardian he did not believe his otherwise healthy wife would have died suddenly, and he flew to Pakistan to force the police to investigate.

If I were Kazam I wouldn’t believe it either.

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