Mother: “It was her destiny to die this way”
A couple arrested in Pakistan on suspicion of killing their 15-year-old daughter with acid say they carried out the attack because she looked at a boy.
The girl’s father told the BBC that they feared she would bring dishonour on their family. Her mother said it was her “destiny” to die that way.
The couple were arrested in Pakistani-administered Kashmir last week.
The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan reported 943 women were killed in honour killings last year.
That represented an increase of more than 100 from 2010.
Police say that the incident took place in a remote village in the southern district of Kotli. They say that the case was brought to their attention by the couple’s eldest daughter.
The girl, known only as Anusha, was found to have burns over 60% of her body. Her father Muhammad Zafar told the BBC what happened:
“There was a boy who came by on a motorcycle. She (Anusha) turned to look at him twice. I told her before not to do that, it’s wrong. People talk about us because our older daughter was the same way,” he said.
Her mother Zaheen described the aftermath: “She said ‘I didn’t do it on purpose. I won’t look again.’ By then I had already thrown the acid. It was her destiny to die this way.”
Anusha’s father is reported to have taken his daughter inside, beaten her and then acid was poured over her with the help of his wife. Officials say that the couple did not take their daughter to hospital until the following morning.
The couple say that an older daughter had already disgraced the family and they did not want to be dishonoured again.
Police say this is one of the first cases of its kind in Pakistani-administered Kashmir, where such killings are relatively rare.
In March the government of Pakistani-administered Kashmir made acid attacks a criminal offence punishable with life imprisonment.