LAHORE: A mother who murdered her own daughter and set her alight for marrying the man of her choice has been sentenced to death, officials said yesterday, in a case that had revolted many in Pakistan. Zeenat Bibi, aged 16, was doused with kerosene and set alight in June last year in Pakistan’s teeming cultural capital Lahore, a little over a week after she wed 20-year-old motorcycle mechanic Hasan Khan against her family’s wishes.
A judge in an anti-terror court in Lahore sentenced her mother Perveen Bibi to death on murder and terrorism charges, prosecutor Mian Mohammad Tufail told AFP. She was charged under Pakistan’s terrorism laws rather than newly-reformed criminal legislation against honor killings because of the use of kerosene in the murder, Tufail said.
Bibi also received a 14-year jail term and was fined one million rupees ($9,300) under separate counts related to the killing. Her son Mohammad Anees was jailed for life and fined 1.5 million rupees for his role in the killing, Tufail said. Bibi’s son-in-law, the husband of another daughter, was acquitted, he said. Zeenat’s vicious murder sent shockwaves across Pakistan and triggered fresh calls for action against so-called “honor killings”.
Hundreds of women are killed by their relatives each year after allegedly bringing shame on their families in the deeply conservative Muslim country. Under previous legislation the culprits-usually men-could get away with the killings after being pardoned by members of their own family. But in July last year the high-profile murder of social media star Qandeel Baloch, whose brother confessed to the killing, reignited calls for reform. In October parliament passed a law aimed at removing the ability to forgive “honor” killers. But critics contend some loopholes still exist. Khurram Khan, chief prosecutor, confirmed the sentences. – AFP