Birmingham couple murdered in Pakistan 'in cold blood'

Image caption,
The Wazirs lived in the Alum Rock area of east Birmingham

Reports that a Birmingham couple shot dead in Pakistan died in a suspected "honour killing" are being rejected by people who have spoken to relatives.

Gul and Begum Wazir, from Alum Rock, travelled to Pakistan last week to apparently settle an arranged marriage dispute involving their daughter.

But Lajbar Khan, of the Birmingham Pashtun Association, said the motive for the killings is unclear.

Police said a man threatened the family in Birmingham last week.

West Midlands Police said the family was threatened on Friday.

'Call off wedding'

Mr Khan said the deaths were not a so-called honour killing.

"A couple, double murder, has been committed," he said.

"Somebody killed them in cold blood, that's all we know. It's not an honour killing."

MP for Perry Barr in north Birmingham, Khalid Mahmood, said he understood the couple tried to call off their daughter's wedding arrangements.

Mr Mahmood said he met one of the couple's sons on Sunday evening.

There are conflicting reports as to whether the couple's son was also injured in the shooting in village of Salehana.

The area is sometimes referred to as Little Birmingham because of its strong ties with the Pakistani community in the West Midlands.

Media caption,
Khalid Mahmood MP: "Families here really need to look seriously at how they deal with the issues of planned marriages"

Mr Wazir's former boss at the Manor Cars taxi company, Mohammad Siddique, said the son had returned home.

Mohammed Shereen, president of the Pashtun Association, who has been to the family home, said the man who was due to marry the couple's daughter was armed with almost 100 bullets.

He said: "The chap who was going to marry the girl went in with a Kalashnikov - about 90 bullets has been fired at them and they've been shot in cold blood."

It is thought the couple's funeral took place on Friday in Pakistan.

MP Khalid Mahmood said parents involved in an arranged marriage need to "engage" more with their children.

Honour killings are "absolutely absurd in this day and age," he added.

"I think people making these sort of arrangements for wedding and marriages to take place need to engage far more with their children, sons and daughters to make sure they know what they're getting into," he said.

"In this case I believe the child wasn't happy with it and they did the right thing, the parents tried to do the right thing by calling it off."

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