2 arrested in murder case of Pak-origin British-Belgian woman

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Lahore, May 19 (PTI) Two youths, including a female, were arrested here on Wednesday for their alleged involvement in the murder of a 25-year-old British-Belgian woman of Pakistani origin, police said.

The victim, identified as Mahira Zulfiqar, was found dead in her rented house in Defence Housing Authority (DHA) Lahore on May 3.

'Mahria's friends --- Saad Ameer Butt and Iqra Hamdani -- were arrested following the cancellation of their protective bail on Wednesday,' a senior CIA officer of the Punjab Police told PTI.

The two were arrested by the Crime Investigation Agency (CIA) of the Punjab Police.

Mahira, a British-Belgian dual national, had arrived here from Belgium some three months ago and was sharing her rented house with her female friend Iqra.

The officer said that about three weeks before here murder, Mahira had filed a police complaint against Butt for giving death threats to her and trying to sexually assault her.

'Butt is politically well-connected. He has denied his involvement in Mahira's murder and pointed finger to her another friend, Zahid Jadoon, who is also on a protective bail,' he said.

According to Mahira's autopsy report, released by the CIA to media on Wednesday, she was tortured before her murder.

'Mahira had bruises on neck, arms and some other parts of the body. She had two bullet injuries -- one on neck and other on face,' the autopsy report stated.

According to the police officer, Mahira's parents wanted to marry her off to a man of an Afghan family settled in the UK.

'Mahira was against the marriage proposal and she left for Pakistan after a quarrel with her parents over the issue,' he said.

The officer said Mahira, who had done her law graduation from London, had rented the house in Lahore along with Jadoon by producing a fake marriage certificate showing herself his wife.

Earlier, Lahore Assistant Superintendent of Police Sidra Khan had said that initial investigation has revealed that Mahria's friend Butt appears to be the prime suspect in the murder case.

'Butt wanted to marry her as he was keen to get foreign nationality through this marriage,' Khan had said.

According to the FIR, Mahira had visited her Lahore-based uncle Muhammad Nazir's residence a day before her murder and told him that her two friends -- Butt and Jadoon -- threatened her with dire consequences if she did not marry either of them. PTI MZ SCY SCY

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