Lahore: In an apparent honour killing, a 25-year-old pregnant woman was on Tuesday brutally beaten and stoned to death outside the High Court here by her father and brothers for marrying the man of her choice.
Police said Farzana Parveen, resident of Nanakana Sahib- some 80 kms from here, had married 45-year-old Mohammad Iqbal, who hailed from the same area, a few months ago against the wishes of her family.
The incident occurred as the couple reached the court premises to record Farzana`s statement to defend her husband against allegations by her family that he kidnapped her and forced her to marry him.
Initially, the family members fired shots in the air and tried to snatch her from Iqbal.
After failing in their attempt, nearly 20 members of her family, including her father and brothers, attacked the couple with sticks and bricks before a crowd of onlookers in front of the court, said police official Naseem Butt.
"Farzana died on the spot after suffering critical head wounds while Iqbal managed to escape the attack," Lahore police spokesman Niyab Haider told PTI.
Farzana was three-months pregnant.
"We contracted court marriage as the family of Farzana was not happy," Iqbal told police, adding since their marriage, Farzana`s family members had been continuously threatening them.
Police on information reaching the spot sent the body for autopsy and registered a case on Iqbal`s complaint against Farzana`s father, her two brothers and three other relatives.
"We are raiding the whereabouts of the accused to arrest them earliest," Haider said.
Police arrested Farzana`s father Muhammad Azeem but her brothers fled, The News International reported.
Around 900 women were killed in Pakistan last year by their families in honour killings, according to Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, a private organisation.