A young British woman of Pakistani origin was reportedly shot dead in Lahore by two men, in what local media reports may have been a "crime of passion" as both wanted to marry her. Mayra Zulfikar, a 26-year-old law graduate from Feltham in south west London, had traveled to Lahore two months ago to attend a cousin's wedding.
Zulfikar had reported been threatened by the two men who both wanted to marry her, according to legal documents filed by the local police. According to police, the young woman had been shot in the neck and arm. Police is yet to make any arrests.
Zulfikar was found dead at a property in the up-market Defence district of Lahore in the early hours of Monday morning after four attackers reportedly barged into a bedroom in the home of friend, where she was staying the night. She suffered multiple gunshots in the neck and arm, and was found lying in a pool of blood when police reached the scene.
According to a police report said Zulfiqar's uncle, Mohammad Nazeer, found her body after receiving a phone call from her father in London to say she had been killed. According to a report in the DailyMail, the woman had complained to her relatives about unwanted advances being made by a local gangster in Lahore.
Nazeer told BBC that Zulfiqar had confided in him that she had become embroiled in a dispute with two male friends after she had refused their marriage proposals, and that they had threatened her with "dire consequences". However, no one expected that would end in a gruesome murder.
Sayyed Ali, an operations superintendent at Punjab Police, told local English newspaper Dawn that forensic experts had visited and cordoned off the scene. "We are also after two suspects and will share further details at a later stage," he said, adding that Zulfiqar's phone had been found near her body. Police is analyzing the phone and the CCTV footage was also being examined.
Crime of Passion
Zulfikar had travelled to Pakistan two months ago with her mother Tabasaam to attend a cousin's wedding but decided to stay in the country after it was placed on the coronavirus red list and also because she did not want to pay to $2,400 to quarantine if she returned to the UK.
Zulfikar had reportedly complained to relatives about the cost of the 10-day quarantine in the UK saying that she preferred to stay in Pakistan for some time as she hoped that it would be removed from the red list after a month.
Another family source revealed that Zulfikar was really disturbed after the two men threatened her. She had in fact, made three complaints to local police about being harassed by Saad Ameer Butt, one of two men who have been arrested.
"A local gangster who is closely connected to the police in Lahore took a shine to her but despite reporting him for harassment, they did nothing. The police are very corrupt over there and don't take crimes against women seriously," the family source added.
On the night of the crime, neighbors reported hearing screaming and at least two gunshots before police arrived to find Zulfiqar's body in an upstairs bedroom, which had also been trashed.
A post mortem examination is reportedly being carried out to determine the Londoner's cause of death. Police said that investigators are looking at whether her death was due to the gunshot wound, or if strangulation was also involved.
Zulfikar had reportedly got engaged to a man from Islamabad soon after arriving in the country and they were planning to marry next year.
However, some family sources believe that there was only one man who was harassing her. "There were not two men who were after Mayra's hand, that's just not true. She was engaged and in a steady relationship. It was one man who was harassing her, and we don't know why. Perhaps it was because she's from the UK and is a very beautiful girl. It might have been a status thing for him," the family source added
Zulfikar aspired to become a lawyer and start her own law firm. Prior to travelling to Pakistan for the wedding, she did an internship with a legal company in Dubai.