Nawaz orders action over ‘honour killing’ outside LHC

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has demanded to know why police apparently stood by while a pregnant woman was stoned and beaten to death by her family in front of one of the country’s top courts, his spokesman said on Thursday. Farzana Iqbal, 25, was attacked on Tuesday, police said, because she had married the man she loved. Sharif has taken notice of the ‘brutal killing’ in the presence of police, his press office said in a statement, adding that a ‘totally unacceptable’ crime has to be dealt with promptly by law. “I am directing the chief minister to take immediate action and a report must be submitted by this evening to my office,” it said, quoting the prime minister. Farzana’s husband said that police did nothing during the 15 minutes the violence lasted outside the Lahore High Court. “I begged them to help us but they said, this is not our duty,” Iqbal told Reuters. “I took off my shirt (to be humble) and begged them to save her.” But Lahore police chief Shafiq Ahmad said no police were present. “They arrested the father, the main accused, a few moments after the incident,” he said. “... by the time police reached the scene, the lady had been murdered.” Police initially said Farzana had been stoned, but Iqbal told Reuters that relatives had swung bricks, not thrown them. All the suspects, except the father, who has been detained, have disappeared. A police officer on Tuesday quoted the father as saying it had been an honour killing. The 25-year-old had offended her family by marrying Iqbal instead of a cousin selected for her. In Lahore, police said her father, two brothers and a former fiancé were among the attackers. 

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