Brother shoots sisters in 'honour killings'

LAHORE • A man killed his two sisters on the eve of their weddings in Pakistan's central Punjab province, police said yesterday, in the latest "honour" killings in the country.

Kosar and Gulzar Bibi, aged 22 and 28, were shot dead on Friday by their 35-year-old brother, Nasir Hussain, as they prepared to marry men they had chosen themselves, senior police officer Mehar Riaz said.

Hussain had objected to the love matches and wanted the women to marry someone within the extended family, the officer added.

"The brother shot dead both the sisters... and fled the site," the officer said, adding that a search was underway. "It is a simple case of killing for honour."

The siblings' father, Mr Atta Mohammad, told reporters that Hussain had "destroyed everything".

"He ruined my family, he destroyed us, he destroyed everything" Mr Mohammad said.

Earlier this month, social media starlet Qandeel Baloch was strangled to death by her brother who said he was "not embarrassed" to have killed her, reigniting calls for action against such crimes.

Hundreds of women are murdered by relatives in the conservative Muslim nation each year on the pretext of defending what is seen as family honour.

Pakistan's Law Minister this month announced that Bills aimed at tackling "honour killings" and boosting rape convictions would soon be voted on by Parliament, after mounting pressure to tackle a pattern of crime that claims around 1,000 lives a year.

The perpetrators of so-called honour killings - in which the victim, normally a woman, is killed by a relative - often walk free because they can seek forgiveness for the crime from another family member.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on July 31, 2016, with the headline 'Brother shoots sisters in 'honour killings''. Print Edition | Subscribe