An Australian woman has allegedly been bludgeoned to death by her father-in-law with an axe in northern Pakistan after an argument about moving back to Australia with her children.
Sajida Tasneem was allegedly killed in front of her father at a home she shared with her in-laws in the city of Sargodha, 250km south of Pakistan’s capital, Islamabad, on 11 June.
Tasneem’s father, Sher Muhammad Khan, said his son-in-law, Ayub Ahmed, had forced his daughter to travel to Pakistan with her three children from their home in Perth, Western Australia.
Khan told the Guardian that when his daughter arrived in Pakistan, his son-in-law then returned to Perth.
Tasneem’s father-in-law, Mukhtar Ahmad, allegedly confiscated Tasneem’s passport.
“After my daughter’s return, Ahmad started demanding all the documents,” Khan said. “On his repeated insistence the documents were handed over to him.”
He told police that on 11 June he allegedly witnessed Ahmad hurling abuse at his daughter. About 1.45pm he had found them in a bathroom.
Ahmad allegedly stuffed a cloth in Tasneem’s mouth and threatened to kill Khan if anyone tried to stop him.
“I feared for our lives and did not move.”
It is alleged Ahmad hit Tasneem on the head with an axe. She died at the scene.
A police deputy superintendent, Syed Saqlain Jaffer, said Mukthar Ahmad had been arrested and charged with murder.
Jaffer told the Guardian: “The crime tool, the axe through which the murder was committed, has also been recovered. It shows the involvement of Ahmad.”
He added: “The investigation is ongoing. We are investigating the presence of other family members at the crime scene.”
Khan said Tasneem’s three children were now with him, and the Australian embassy had been in touch.
Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade confirmed its officials “have been in contact with the family of an Australian woman killed in Pakistan” and offered its condolences.
“The family is being provided consular assistance. Owing to our privacy obligations we will not provide further comment.”
With Ben Doherty