Thursday Sep 13, 2018
LONDON: Labour Party parliamentarian from Bradford West Naz Shah has written to Prime Minister Imran Khan urging him to intervene in the murder case of British-Pakistani Samia Shahid, who was killed by her father and former husband in 2016.
Samia, originally from Bradford, was killed by her family for divorcing her first husband, who was her cousin, to marry Syed Mukhtar Kazim.
Her first husband, Chaudhry Mohammad Shakeel, has been freed on bail due to a lack of progress in the trial and he denies her murder but the Bradford West MP wants Prime Minister Imran Khan to intervene and make sure "that the state is prosecuting and taking real care of 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 the Pakistan premier, according to a copy of the letter seen by this correspondent.
She told Imran Khan that Samia was lured to her death in a so called “honour killing” which happened in the village of Pandori in Punjab's Jhelum district over two years ago.
Shah has 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.
She wrote: 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 her father has subsequently passed away.
“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 the Pakistan prime minister 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 to Syed Mukhtar Kazim in Leeds in 2014 and moved to Dubai. Kazim has claimed that Samia's family strongly disapproved of their marriage and wanted to harm him as well.