Murder investigation launched into death of Bradford woman in Pakistan


Police looking into the death of a 28-year-old British woman in Pakistan say they have launched a murder investigation.

Samia Shahid, from Bradford, died last week while visiting relatives in northern Punjab.

Her family has said she died of natural causes but her husband, Syed Mukhtar Kazam, believes she has been killed because of her marriage to him, her second husband.

Now, reports from Pakistan said local police are examining whether Mrs Shahid had been murdered. Detectives in West Yorkshire said they were aware of the Pakistani police's move as they continued to monitor the situation.

District police chief Mujahed Akbar Khan told the BBC: "There are many things which have to be verified by the authorities of the marriage and the remarriage."

But he said if investigation pointed to murder then "a murder is a murder".

Mr Khan also said that Ms Shahid's first husband was "on the run".

Bradford West MP Naz Shah has written to the prime minister of Pakistan, Nawaz Sharif, asking for Mrs Shahid's body to be exhumed.

Ms Shah said she became involved in the case after she was contacted by a concerned constituent.

She said on Tuesday: "I'm not going to rest until I'm satisfied I know the cause of her death."

Mr Kazam told the Guardian he married his wife in Leeds in September 2014 after she left her first husband, who was a cousin from Pakistan.

He said his wife moved to live with him in Dubai last year but had made trips to the UK to talk to her parents about the relationship.

He said she went to Pakistan on July 14 as a member of her family was ill.

Her father, who is in Pakistan, told a newspaper the honour killing allegations were "lies".

A West Yorkshire Police spokesman said on Tuesday : "A report was made to West Yorkshire Police last week regarding the alleged death of a 28-year-old woman from Bradford in Pakistan.

"Following this report officers engaged with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, who have since confirmed her death.

"Inquiries are now continuing with the relevant authorities to establish the cause."