Khalida Bibi, sister of the late Farzana Iqbal, speaks during a news conference in Lahore. Photo by Reuters
The family of a pregnant Pakistani woman who was bludgeoned
to death in broad daylight this week accused her husband of
killing her, in stark contrast to his version of a story that
has shocked people around the world.
Police and witnesses said Farzana Iqbal, 25, was murdered by
assailants including her own father outside a court building
because she had married a man of her own choosing, Muhammed
Iqbal, instead of a cousin they had selected for her.
But on Saturday (local time), Farzana's elder sister said it
was Iqbal who had killed her.
"Muhammed Iqbal and his accomplices killed Farzana, and her
father and the rest of her family were wrongly accused of
murder," Khalida Bibi told reporters in the city of Lahore.
"I was present at the scene and when she came out of the
lawyer's chamber and as soon as she saw us standing on the
other side of the road, she rushed towards us. Iqbal and his
accomplices chased her and hit her with bricks."
Iqbal says they married for love in January. On Friday, he
told Reuters that he and his wife were attacked by her family
outside the High Court in Lahore, Pakistan's cultural
In a dark twist, Iqbal has also admitted that he had killed
his first wife in a dispute over Farzana in 2009.
Khalida Bibi said she had spent 13 days with Farzana in a
women's shelter last month where she said she was hiding from
"She told me that Iqbal had kidnapped her and forced her into
marriage," she said. "She feared that Iqbal might kill her
like his previous wife, Ayesha."
Police have arrested five people including Farzana's father.
The brutality of the case, and the fact that it happened in
broad daylight outside one of Pakistan's top courts drew
international condemnation, including from the United
Many conservative families in Pakistan consider it shameful
for a woman to fall in love and choose her own husband.
Refusal to accept arranged marriages frequently results in
In 2013, 869 such cases were reported in the media, according
to the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, and the true
figure is probably higher since many cases go unreported.