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Daring to marry for love, Pakistani teen survives family arranged 'honor' killing

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
6/10/2014 (3 years ago)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Shot and thrown into canal, justice may now be brought against victim's relatives

Eighteen-year-old Saba Maqsood of Pakistan survived being shot in the cheek and right hand by her father, brother and uncle. Thrown in a nearby canal, her attack was aided and abetted by passers-by in the town of Hafizabad in Punjab province. Surviving her injuries, Saba says that she still fears for her life after her attempted "honor killing."

Saba Maqsood had married a neighbor five days before her attack, against the wishes of her family. 'It is an honor-related incident,' Ali Akbar, a local police officer says.

Saba Maqsood had married a neighbor five days before her attack, against the wishes of her family. "It is an honor-related incident," Ali Akbar, a local police officer says.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
6/10/2014 (3 years ago)

Published in Asia Pacific

Keywords: Honor killing, Pakistan, shooting, attempted murder


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The latest attempted honor killing - in which relatives of the victim act drastically to defend the "family's honor" -- came barely a week after Farzana Parveen was bludgeoned to death by her relatives in Lahore. The grisly incident has shone spotlight on the plight of Pakistani women.

Maqsood had married a neighbor five days before her attack, against the wishes of her family. "It is an honor-related incident," Ali Akbar, a local police officer says.

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Magsood says she still fears for her life. "Even though police provided me with security, I fear that my family will try to kill me and my husband," she said in a telephone interview.

"I appeal to the chief minister and authorities to take serious notice of this attack on me and take necessary action for our security."

After being shot, Magsood was placed in a sack and dumped in the water, but regained consciousness after a few minutes. She struggled to the bank where two passers-by helped her.

"Saba Maqsood told us that her father and other relatives had assumed that she was dead, but she regained consciousness, opened the sack and came out of the canal," Akbar says, where she made her way to a gas station, where she alerted a security guard.

"We are raiding different places in an effort to capture her father and all those who participated in the assault," he said.

"She is a brave girl," Akbar says. Her father's house had been searched by officers but the suspects had all fled.

Hundreds of Pakistani women are murdered by their male relatives annually. Many of these cases are explained away as suicides, although almost 900 honor killings were reported last year. Most of them occur when daughters refuse to have an arranged marriage.

In Parveen's murder last week, she was killed in broad daylight because her husband and father had disagreed over the bride price to be paid.

It later emerged that the man she married had murdered his first wife to be with Parveen. In that case, 12 of her relatives have since been arrested.

Under Pakistani law, those charged with killing women can see their criminal case dropped if family members of the deceased forgive them or accept so-called "blood money."

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