British MP asks Imran to intervene in Samia Shahid murder case
A resident of Bradford, Samia was allegedly killed by her father and ex-husband in July 2016
Labour Party parliamentarian from West Bradford Naz Shah has penned a letter to premier Imran Khan, calling her attention to intervene in the murder case of British-Pakistani Samia Shahid, who was killed in 2016 in what is suspected as an honour killing.
Samia, who was a resident of Bradford, was allegedly killed by her father and her ex-husband for divorcing the latter. Samia had tied the knot with Syed Mukhtar Kazim and had relocated to Dubai prior to her death.
Her ex-husband, identified as Chaudhry Muhammad Shakeel was freed on bail owing to the lack of progress in the trial, which prompted the British MP to take action. According to the letter, she wants Imran to make sure that “the state is prosecuting and taking real care in what they are doing”.
“The fact that he has been released on bail does really raise my concerns. I’m really worried about the state of the case,” MP Shah has written to Imran, according to a copy of the letter.
The letter states the backdrop of the so-called honour-killing, according to which Samia was lured back to Pakistan on the pretext of her father ‘falling seriously ill’. While at her ancestral village of Pandori in Jhelum district, she was strangled to death, allegedly by the two aforementioned men.
Shah had previously raised the issue of Samia and British national Barrister Fahad Malik’s murders. Malik was killed two years ago in Islamabad and his case awaits trial with the Pakistani authorities.
The letter states that in the first instance, her death was presented as non-suspicious; however, serious allegations of a cover-up were raised by her husband following a speedy burial. International outrage led to the truth being established, she had died of asphyxiation. Her father and first husband were charged; however, the situation seems flimsy as Shakeel is out on bail and her father passed away this year in January.
“This week I have been informed that despite being charged with murder on the basis of clear evidence, the accused has been granted bail having spent two years in custody. I am deeply concerned and struggling to understand why the state has not taken the lead in this case to pursue justice, and alarmingly, why the onus is on the victim’s family to pursue justice and pay for the prosecution team.”
The British MP has written to Imran that she is worried “that this case will be forgotten and that any further delay in proceedings risks justice not being served to Samia and her family. To this end, I would welcome any assistance and assurance that your office can give that this is not the case and that this case will be tried to a conclusion.”
Samia was aged 28 when she was killed. She married Kazim in Leeds in 2014 and moved to Dubai. Kazim has claimed that Samia’s family strongly disapproved of their marriage and harboured vindictive feelings for him.