Pakistan police arrest man for gruesome ‘honor killing’ of sister

KARACHI: Pakistani police have arrested a man in Karachi for slitting his sister’s throat and letting her bleed to death, the latest “honour killing” in the deeply patriarchal country.

Hayat Khan, aged around 20, used a kitchen knife to murder his sixteen-year-old sister Sumaira after he found her talking to a man on her mobile phone at their home in the low-income Orangi Town neighborhood of the city on Wednesday, senior police officer Azfar Mahesar said.

He then threw her out of the house where she continued to bleed and writhe in pain on the steps as neighbors gathered. Investigating officer Gulzar Ahmed confirmed the details of the attack adding that Sumaira had suffered multiple stab wounds to the neck, chest and back. Mobile phone footage shot by an unknown onlooker shows several men and boys standing around Sumaira, who is lying face down, dressed in a red tunic and orange headscarf and draped in a blanket. Her head is seen lolling from side to side and the fingers of her right hand appear twisted. A young boy is shown fighting back tears as one man says in Pashto: “Let’s take her to a hospital in a car,” and another man replies: “It’s almost here, it’s coming brother.”

The video then pans to Hayat, dressed in a purple shirt and blue jeans, who stares directly at the camera. Abdul Hakeem, a local resident, told AFP: “She was taken by car to a private hospital but she died before she arrived.”

Mahesar told AFP that police had taken the unusual step of making themselves the complainants in the case, in order to avoid a loophole in the law that allows the relatives of the victim to forgive the killer. “We have registered the case on behalf of the state as we don’t want to give the family the option of settling the case outside court,” he said.

The move came after Inayat Khan, Hayat and Sumaira’s father, had told local media “what is done is done” and said he forgave his son. Hundreds of women are murdered by their relatives in Pakistan each year on the pretext of defending family “honor”. “A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness”-a film telling the story of a rare survivor of an attempted “honor killing” — won the Academy Award for best documentary short in February. — AFP

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