tampabay.com

Man says he killed 4 daughters to save 'honor'

Associated Press
Published December 29, 2005


MULTAN, Pakistan - Nazir Ahmed appears calm and unrepentant as he recounts how he slit the throats of his three young daughters and their 25-year-old stepsister to salvage his family's "honor" - a crime that shocked Pakistan.

The laborer, speaking to the Associated Press in police detention as he was being shifted to prison, confessed to just one regret - that he didn't murder the stepsister's alleged lover too.

The independent Human Rights Commission of Pakistan said many "honor killing" cases that make it to court end with cash settlements by relatives to the victims' families, although under a law passed last year, the minimum penalty is 10 years, the maximum death by hanging.

Ahmed's rampage - witnessed by his wife Rehmat Bibi as she cradled their 3 month-old son - happened Friday night at their home in the cotton-growing village of Gago Mandi in eastern Punjab province.

Bibi recounted how she was woken by a shriek as Ahmed put his hand to the mouth of his stepdaughter Muqadas and cut her throat with a machete. Bibi looked helplessly on from the corner of the room as he then killed the three girls - Bano, 8, Sumaira, 7, and Humaira, 4 - pausing between the slayings to brandish the bloodstained knife at his wife, warning her not to intervene or raise alarm.

"I was shivering with fear. I did not know how to save my daughters," Bibi, sobbing, told the AP by phone from the village. "I begged my husband to spare my daughters but he said, "If you make a noise, I will kill you.' "

Ahmed said he killed Muqadas because she had committed adultery, and his daughters because he didn't want them to do the same when they grew up.

Despite Ahmed's contention that Muqadas had committed adultery - a claim made by her husband - the rights commission reported that according to local people, Muqadas had fled her husband because he had abused her and forced her to work in a brick-making factory.