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Pakistani woman killed by ex-husband, police say

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Police say the body of a Pakistani-American woman who she said was killed by her ex-husband following a land dispute has been brought to the town of Rawalpindi for further investigation.

Wajiha Swati, an American citizen of Pakistani descent, had been missing since arriving in Pakistan in mid-October to settle issues with her ex-husband, Rizwan Habib.

Habib was arrested on suspicion of murder last week, said Sajid Kiyani, police chief in Rawalpindi. He said Habib confessed on Saturday to killing Swati after four days of interrogation, and that he killed her on the day she arrived in the city.

Swati’s body was found in Lakki Marwat district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, police said.

“Police exhumed the body from a house in the Peezo area of ​​Lakki Marwat, where the suspect was heading the police after confessing to the murder,” Kiyani said.

Habib’s initial court appearance was set for Monday. He could not be reached in police custody and it was not immediately clear whether he was represented by a lawyer.

Police said a complaint was initially filed about Swati’s disappearance and, during the ensuing investigation, U.S. Embassy officials contacted police to assist them in the process. to find her. It was not immediately clear where Swati resided.

Kiyani said Habib succeeded in convincing Swati to return to Pakistan. Police believe he picked her up from the airport, kidnapped her and killed her with the help of her father and another man, both of whom were also arrested.

Investigators believe Swati was killed by her ex-husband in a dispute over the property. Kiyani said police recovered the body from a house owned by a Habib employee.

According to Human Rights Watch, violence against women and girls – including rape, so-called honor killings, acid attacks, domestic violence, and forced marriages – remains a serious problem in Pakistan.

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