An eight months pregnant woman who had contracted a marriage of her own will was shot dead allegedly by her brother over 'honour' in Sindh's Khairpur district on Friday evening, police said.
The victim, a mother of one, had willingly married a man from a caste different than hers in a court of Sukkur in August 2016 without her family’s approval.
Apparently angered by the move, the 25-year-old woman's brother opened fire on her while she was asleep in their family home, located within the limits of Wada Machhoon police station in Khairpur.
Police arrested the prime accused on Saturday, and registered a first information report (FIR) under Section 302 (premeditated murder) of Pakistan Penal Code against him, the victim's father and three others on a complaint of SHO Bagh Chand Oad on behalf of the state.
Addressing a press conference in Khairpur, the husband of the deceased woman revealed that the victim was taken away from his house six months ago by her family on the assurance that they would not hurt her and would bring her back after the delivery of their second child.
However, they killed her after the woman's father during a jirga declared her 'kari', or a woman who has brought dishonour to her family, and asked his son to kill his sister, the husband alleged.
According to the husband, his wife who was eight months pregnant was killed a day before being produced in the Sindh High Court in Sukkur, where he had filed a petition seeking her recovery after finding out about the jirga’s pronouncement against the victim.
Police officials said they were conducting raids to arrest the remaining accused nominated in the FIR.
Scores of young women in Pakistan are still being murdered by relatives for bringing shame on their family, more than a year since new laws came into force aimed at stemming the flow of 'honour killings'.
A report furnished by Sindh’s women development department earlier this month showed that a total of 1,643 cases of various types of violent acts — from honour killing to custody of children and maintenance — were filed by women from across the province since July last year.