Pakistan: 'Honour killing' suspected in murder of British couple

The Guardian

A British couple have been murdered in Pakistan in a suspected "honour killing" after calling off their daughter's marriage. A man and his wife from the Alum Rock area of Birmingham, named locally as taxi driver Gul Wazir and wife Bagum, had reportedly visited the country to resolve a dispute over a wedding. 

West Midlands police confirmed the deaths. A spokeswoman said: "We have been informed of the murder of two people from Birmingham in Pakistan. The murder inquiry is being carried out by the authorities in Pakistan and we will support their investigation as and when required."

The couple have already been buried and the Foreign Office said it was providing consular assistance to their family.

Khalid Mahmood, Labour MP for Birmingham Perry Barr, said he was appalled to hear of the couple's murder and warned British-Pakistanis to be cautious if they adhered to customs like arranged weddings.

"It's terrible in this day and age that a couple should be killed in this way," he said. "But it's important for people here to recognise that they can't arrange marriages in Pakistan against the wishes of their children.

"If the child backs out it and the parents have promised them in marriage, it's going to cause problems."

He added: "I can understand if people want to keep their ties with Pakistan but they have to understand that they have to have their children's consent, otherwise this is where it ends up."