4 arrested after Pakistani woman beaten to death
By Khurram Shahzad, AFP
May 31, 2014, 12:00 am TWN
CHAK 367, Pakistan -- Pakistani police investigating the murder of a woman bludgeoned to death outside a court have arrested four men, a senior officer said Friday, as her husband said he wanted her killers to “die in pain.”
Farzana Parveen was killed on Tuesday outside the High Court in the eastern city of Lahore by more than two dozen attackers armed with bricks, including numerous relatives, for marrying against her family's wishes.
Her husband Mohammad Iqbal — who Thursday admitted he had strangled his first wife out of love for Parveen — told AFP he wanted to see her attackers “killed with bricks.”
Hundreds of women are murdered by their relatives in Pakistan each year supposedly in the name of defending family “honor.”
But the brazen, brutal nature of Parveen's killing, in broad daylight in the center of Pakistan's second largest city, has triggered outrage around the world.
Police were apparently at the scene, but did not intervene to save Parveen, who was three months pregnant.
Officers made arrests late on Thursday after Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif told Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, who is his brother, to take immediate action on the case.
“Special investigation teams set up by police on the directive of the chief minister arrested four more people including an uncle and two cousins of the slain woman and a driver on Thursday night,” senior police official Zulfiqar Hameed told AFP on Friday.
The new arrests bring the number held over the killing to five, after Parveen's father was detained at the scene of the attack.
Shahbaz Sharif has ordered police to round up all those involved within 24 hours. He has also directed that the case should be heard in an anti-terrorism court. This should mean it moves more quickly than in an ordinary court.
'Die in pain'
In a macabre twist to the case, Parveen's husband Mohammad Iqbal admitted to AFP on Thursday that he had strangled his first wife.
On Friday in Chak 367, the tiny, dusty hamlet where he lives — known like many small settlements in rural Punjab by a number — Iqbal said he regretted the earlier killing.
“I was in love with Farzana and one day, when I was going to see her, my first wife blocked my way which infuriated me,” he told AFP.