Murder probe in Pakistan after British woman found with bullet wounds

Pakistan flag
Pakistan flag (PA Archive)
12:45pm, Wed 05 May 2021
CBAD8A00-D2B9-4E0E-ADDF-D0366C357A34 Created with sketchtool. E9A4AA46-7DC3-48B8-9CE2-D75274FB8967 Created with sketchtool. 65CCAE04-4748-4D0F-8696-A91D8EB3E7DC Created with sketchtool.

Police in Lahore are searching for two men after the killing of a British woman of Pakistani origin, reportedly after the men had each pressured her to marry them.

Mayra Zulfiquar, a 24-year-old law graduate who moved to Pakistan two months ago, was found dead in her rented flat after four men including the two chief suspects were believed to have broken in early on Monday.

Punjab Police superintendent Sidra Khan, citing an initial post-mortem report, told English-language newspaper Dawn that Ms Zulfiquar had two bullet wounds – one to her neck and another to her arm – and had bled to death. Bruises were found on her right hand and left foot.

Police said they have opened a first information report (FIR) on the case after receiving a complaint from Ms Zulfiquar’s uncle, Lahore resident Mohammad Nazeer.

The FIR said Mr Nazeer found his niece’s body after receiving a phone call from her father in London to say she had been killed.

She was a lovely girl, very quietly spoken, very keen to learn and to get into the profession. I am very shocked to learn what has happened to her

Mr Nazeer also said Ms Zulfiquar had told him 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”.

Sayyed Ali, an operations superintendent at Punjab Police, told Dawn an unidentified caller had alerted the force about the murder and that forensic experts visited and cordoned off the scene.

“We are also after two suspects and will share further details at a later stage,” Mr Sayyed said, adding Ms Zulfiquar had been found lying in a pool of blood in her room with her mobile phone near her body.

“We have seized the mobile phone for forensic analysis.”

Mr Sayyed said police were also analysing footage from nearby CCTV cameras in the hope of finding suspects.

Ms Zulfiquar’s parents are expected to arrive in Lahore from their home in west London later this week. Their daughter had travelled to Pakistan for a wedding two months ago and had decided to stay, Dawn said.

In a statement, Duncan Blackett Law said Ms Zulfiqar had been briefly enrolled on its legal mentorship programme before it was postponed as a result of the coronavirus outbreak and she was an “excellent mentee who demonstrated a keen interest in commercial law”.

Gracie Duncan, of Duncan Blackett Law, told the Daily Mail: “She was a lovely girl, very quietly spoken, very keen to learn and to get into the profession. I am very shocked to learn what has happened to her.”

The UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office said in a statement: “We are supporting the family of a British woman who died in Pakistan and are urgently seeking more information from the local authorities. Our thoughts are with the family at this difficult time.”

Dawn reported Ms Zulfiquar had dual British-Belgian citizenship.

Sign up to our newsletter