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Wife of man killed by Davis commits suicide

February 06, 2011

A nurse and unidentified relatives of Shumaila Kanwal, bottom, the widow of a Pakistani man allegedly shot and killed by a US official, stand beside her at a local hospital in Faisalabad. -AP Photo

FAISALABAD: The wife of one of two youths gunned down by a US government employee Raymond Davis in Lahore on Jan 27 committed suicide on Sunday.

Shumaila Kanwal, wife of Faheem Ahmed, took insecticides in the morning and was brought to Allied Hospital where she died a little before midnight. Hospital official Prof Zahid Yasmeen Hashmi confirmed her death.

When she was brought to the hospital, Ms Kanwal told newsmen that she had decided to end her life in protest against “favourable treatment being accorded to the killer of her husband by police and reports that he will be set free”.

Ms Kanwal had married Faheem Ahmed about six months ago.

Her cousin said the 26-year old widow had taken insecticides to kill herself after learning Davis would be handed over to the US government without trial. She had returned to her parents’ home from Gadri village near Chak Jhumra a couple of days ago.

She had told newsmen gathered at the hospital: “The killer is being treated as a guest at the police station. I need justice and blood for the blood of my husband.”

She said that even after 11 days after the murder of her husband, there had been no progress in the case.

Activists of Jamat-i-Islami gathered outside the hospital and held a demonstration.

JI district chief Azeem Randhawa said Ms Kanwal was an orphan and her mother was disabled.

Agencies add: Faheem’s brother Mohammad Waseem told AFP that Ms Kanwal was plunged into a “severe depression” by her husband’s death.

She took the poison before dawn and was rushed to the hospital early on Sunday, he said.

“I want blood for blood. The way my husband was shot, his killer should be shot in the same fashion,” she had told reporters at the hospital.

“I do not expect any justice from this government,” said Ms Kanwal in a statement recorded by doctor Ali Naqi. “That is why I want to kill myself.”

“Mohammad Faheem’s wife Shumaila this morning took poisonous pills and she was taken to Allied Hospital” in Faisalabad, local police chief Usman Anwar told AFP.

Earlier, Dr Naqi confirmed the suicide attempt, describing her condition as critical.

The shootings have stoked anti-American sentiment in Pakistan, feelings that could be further inflamed by Ms Kanwal’s death.