Prime suspect in British-Pakistani girl’s murder case arrested in Lahore

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Lahore, May 25 (PTI) The prime suspect in the murder case of a 25-year-old British-Pakistani girl has been arrested by Lahore police, officials said.

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

Police had registered a murder case against two suspects, Zahir Jadoon and Saad Ameer Butt, on complaint of victim's uncle Muhammad Nazeer.

'The Crime Investigation Agency (CIA) of Punjab Police has arrested Zahir Jadoon, a prime suspect in the murder of Mahira. In police custody, he has confessed to killing her,' a senior police officer told PTI on Tuesday.

'Jadoon said he was with Mahira on May 3 when he had a quarrel with her. She was blackmailing me as she had my objectionable videos. I shot her dead and left for Islamabad,' the officer quoted the suspect as having said.

He said Jadoon and Mahira had also spent a few months together in Dubai. Mahira and Jadoon's common friend Iqra Hamdani was also present in the house when Jadoon shot dead Mahira, the officer added.

The officer said that Jadoon was also named in a murder case in the past.

On the other hand, Jadoon’s lawyer, Zarak Khan, claimed his client was on pre-arrest bail till May 27.

'Our client Zahir Jadoon Khan, after attaining pre-arrest bail, joined the investigation accompanied by his brother, Tahir Khan, and cousin, Sheryar Khan, on Sunday evening. The CIA Lahore has unlawfully confined Jadoon who is on bail and those who accompanied him to join the investigation,” he said.

Jadoon's lawyer further said if the prosecution has something against his client it has every right to get his bail rejected through the court of law but bypassing the law should never be tolerated in any manner whatsoever.

The police officer further said that Jadoon's brother Tahir Khan has also been arrested as his pistol was used in the crime. 'CIA has arrested Tahir Khan to recover the weapon used in killing Mahira,' he said.

A government official told PTI that Punjab police acted swiftly in this case on the intervention of the British embassy in Islamabad. Mahira's father who is a British national had complained to the embassy about slow progress in his daughter's case.

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 CIA has already arrested Mahria's friends - Saad Ameer Butt and Iqra Hamdani - following the cancellation of their protective bail on Wednesday.

About three weeks before her murder, Mahira had filed a police complaint against Butt for giving death threats to her and trying to sexually assault her.

Butt denied his involvement in her murder in police custody and pointed finger to her another friend, Zahid Jadoon.

According to Mahira’s autopsy report, 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.

According to the FIR, Mahira had visited her Lahore-based uncle 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 ZH ZH