Pakistani woman set on fire by jilted suitor dies

MULTAN (Pakistan) • A young Pakistani woman died yesterday after a rejected suitor set her ablaze for refusing his marriage proposal, a doctor said.

Ms Sonia Bibi, 20, was admitted to hospital last month, where she told police that her former lover Latif Ahmed had doused her with petrol and set her alight after she turned down his proposal.

Medical staff had originally said she would recover, but a doctor in Multan's Nishtar hospital told Agence France-Presse that Ms Bibi's wounds became infected and that she died yesterday morning.

About 45 to 50 per cent of her body was burned in the attack, Dr Naheed Chaudhry, head of the hospital's burns department, said.

The incident took place in a remote village of Multan district in central Punjab province. Police have arrested the 24-year-old suspect.

Ms Bibi had told police that she had fallen out of love with Ahmed, and preliminary investigations suggested he had set her on fire "after she refused to marry him".

Hundreds of women are murdered in Pakistan each year in cases of domestic violence or on the grounds of defending family "honour".

The Aurat Foundation, a campaign group that works to improve the lives of women in Pakistan's conservative and patriarchal society, said more than 3,000 women have been killed in such attacks since 2008.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 04, 2015, with the headline 'Pakistani woman set on fire by jilted suitor dies'. Print Edition | Subscribe