Mayra Zulfiquar, a UK resident of Pakistani origin, found dead in Lahore 'after refusing to marry a man'
5 May 2021, 04:14 | Updated: 5 May 2021, 18:27
Police in the Pakistan city of Lahore are hunting for two men over the murder of a UK resident they had each reportedly been pressurising to marry them.
The suspects are being hunted as a close friend of Mayra Zulfiquar has told Sky News how the victim's parents are struggling to come to terms with their daughter's death.
Ms Zulfiquar, a 24-year-old law graduate of Pakistani origin who is a Belgian national, was found dead with bullet wounds in her rented flat after four men, including the two chief suspects, were believed to have broken in early on Monday.
Sky correspondent Mark White has said Ms Zulfiquar was buried in a funeral service in Lahore this morning in accordance with Islamic tradition.
Her parents flew out to the city from Feltham, in west London, to attend the service.
Their daughter had travelled to Pakistan for a wedding two months ago and had decided to stay, the English-language newspaper Dawn has reported.
Ziaur Rehman, who runs a market stall in Feltham, told Sky News: "Her father called me on Monday and asked me to come to his house.
"He was crying, I sensed there was something wrong, then I went there and the news was shocking.
"Her mother she is really struggling now, she is not well at all."
Mr Rehman had formed such a close friendship with Ms Zulfiquar's family that she even helped babysit his three young children.
He said: "She was very happy with my kids and would play with them, she was like their big sister.
"She was very friendly, very kind."
Police have detained two men for questioning over the death as they hunt for another two suspects.
Punjab police superintendent Sidra Khan, citing an initial post-mortem report, told 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.
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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.
The UK's Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office said in a statement it was supporting the family.
It added: "Our thoughts are with the family at this difficult time."