International

Pakistani Bride ‘Inadvertently’ Killed 17 with Poisoned Milk Intended for Husband

An unhappily married Pakistani woman claims the 17 people she murdered were unintended victims of a botched plan to poison her husband and end her arranged marriage so that she could be with her boyfriend.

According to the Associated Press (AP), the 21-year-old spoke to reporters when she appeared before a judge to face murder charges in the city of Muzaffargarh on Tuesday, telling them, “I repeatedly asked my parents not to marry me against my will as my religion, Islam, also allows me to choose the man of my choice for marriage but my parents rejected all of my pleas, and they married me to a relative.”

AP, which identified the woman as Aasia Bibi, added:

The woman said her love affair with her boyfriend continued after she got married. She said she had warned her parents that she could go to any extent to get out of her marriage, but they refused to allow her to get a divorce.

The woman expressed remorse over the deaths, saying her target was only her husband.

Currently, the unhappily married woman and her boyfriend Shahid Lashari, who told police he provided the poisonous substance, are behind bars.

“This incident took place last week, and our officers have made progress by arresting a woman and her lover in connection with this murder case, which was complicated and challenging for us,” District police chief Sohail Habib Tajak told AP.

The news outlet explained:

The woman was not happy with her husband and wanted to return to her parents’ home.

Tajak said the woman obtained a poisonous substance from her boyfriend last week and mixed it in milk for her husband, who refused to drink it. But the woman’s mother-in-law later used the tainted milk to make a traditional yogurt-based drink and served it to 27 people of her extended family, who fell unconscious and were hospitalized.

BBC reported that eight people died soon after consuming the milk, but the death toll reached 17 within a week. The remaining 10 are reportedly being treated in a hospital, revealed the police chief.

The crime took place near the town of Ali Pur, about 60 miles south of Multan city in Punjab, the most populous province in Pakistan.

Tajak told AP that the woman had been married against her will back in September as part of an arranged marriage, considered the cultural norm for many Muslim-majority countries like Pakistan.

In such instances, the parents or eldest male members of the prospective groom and bride negotiate the marriage—often when the future husband and wife are only children, infants, or even before they are born.

Romantic love seldom plays a role in the partnership.

The Pakistani police chief vowed that authorities would arrest anyone who knew of the Bibi’s plot to kill her husband.

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