In a video just released by Associated Press, Mubeen Rajhu, above, claims he was goaded by work colleagues into killing his 18-year-old sister, Tasleem.
According to this report, in August, Rajhu walked into the kitchen of his family’s home carrying a pistol and, with his mother and another sister looking on, raised the gun and fired a single shot into his sister Tasleem’s head.
In the AP video, recorded in a jailhouse in Lahore, Rajhu said:
I could not let it go. It was all I could think about. I had to kill her. There was no choice. There was no yelling, no shouting. I just shot her dead.
He explained that he had been “bullied” into committing the murder by co-workers at the steel mill at which he was employed. They would to mock Rajhu, telling him that it was unacceptable that his sister was keeping company with a Christian.
Ali Raza, one of Rajhu’s co-workers, laughed about how easy it was to get Rajhu riled up.
He used to tell us, ‘If you don’t stop, I will kill myself. Stop!’ The guys here told him, ‘It would be better to kill your sister.’
Rajhu purchased a gun and six days later killed Tasleem. He claims his sister had it coming. He told her on numerous occasions that she was bringing dishonour to the family by fraternising with a Christian.
Moreover, he made her swear on the Koran that she would never marry the Christian man. Tasleem swore that she wouldn’t marry him, but went ahead anyway, despite the fact that he warned her that he would not be able to show his face at the mill.
Shockingly, Rajhu’s father, said to “shattered” by the killing, is blaming his daughter.
My family is destroyed. Everything is destroyed only because of this shameful girl. Even after death I am destroyed because of her.
Others in the poor neighborhood along a section of northern Lahore sympathise with the father – and lionise Rajhu.
Babar Ali, a neighbor, said:
I am proud of this man. He has done the right thing to kill her. When the news spreads, they will praise this man.
“Honour killings” have been on the rise in Pakistan and women are victims, by far, more than men.
In 2015, the number of honor killings rose for the third straight year with 1,184 killed. Of that total, 1,096 of the victims were women.
The problem has become such an epidemic that lawmakers have passed bills that would close the loophole in murder laws that often allow suspects in “honour killings” to go scot-free.
Under the proposed law, perpetrators – even if forgiven by family members – would still have to serve a minimum sentence of 12-and-a-half years.