A woman is under arrest in Pakistan after the she allegedly burned her teenage daughter alive for getting married without her family’s permission. The heartbreaking story is the latest in a string of recent brutalities to emerge from the country.
According to police, Zeenat Rafique, 18, was strangled by her mother and brother and then set on fire while still alive and died practically on the spot. Rafique’s funeral was held on Thursday and her husband, 19-year-old Hassan Khan, spoke out about the fear his wife lived in during their courtship and short marriage. Khan said the two had secretly dated for years and were newlyweds — they just married on May 29. Rafique, Khan said, had moved away with him after eloping because of her family’s strong disapproval of their relationship. She had returned to her family’s home in Lahore hoping to make amends and reach some sort of reconciliation with relatives. “I only allowed her to visit her parents after her paternal uncle guaranteed her safety,” Khan reportedly said.
Instead, her life was ended by the woman who gave her life in the first place, authorities said. According to police, the family has been remorseless, refusing to even accept Rafique’s body for burial. An autopsy showed smoke residue in her lungs, meaning that despite the torture she endured, she was still alive when she was drenched in kerosene and then set on fire. Rafique’s mother turned herself into authorities, but her brother remains at large.