Pakistan: Couple shot dead just after marriage



Lahore: A young man and a woman were gunned down while leaving a court in Pakistan's Punjab province after getting married against the wishes of their families, officials said on Thursday.

The incident occurred on Wednesday at the district court complex in Sargodha district, 80 km from Lahore, the provincial capital.

Police said Yasmin, 19, had eloped with a relative, 21-year-old Nasir Awan, and appeared before a civil judge to get married.

They told the judge that their lives were in danger as their families were unhappy with their decision to get married.

As they were leaving the court after getting married, Yasmin's uncle, Farooq Awan, and an accomplice fired at the couple and killed them instantly.

Policemen present in the court complex nabbed Awan but his accomplice escaped.

Awan told police that he killed the couple for tarnishing the image of his family.

"After Yasmin's elopement, we were left with no option but to kill both the girl and boy," he was quoted as saying.

Dozens of instances of such "dishonour killings" are reported every year from across Pakistan, especially the most populous province of Punjab.

Rights activists and civil society groups have been demanding stricter laws to deal with such crimes.

PTI