Pakistani teenager survives family's attempted 'honor killing'

By Amanda Holtzer,

Pakistani Saba Maqsood, 18, managed to survive after being shot twice and thrown into a canal by her family under the guise of an "honor killing" just because she married the man she loved.

She married her neighbor, Muhammad Qaiser, five days ago against her family’s wishes. Maqsood’s father, uncle, brother and aunt took her to the city of Hafizabad in the province of Punjab. They shot her twice, once in the hand and once in the cheek.

They then put her in a sack and threw her into a canal. They left the scene, assuming she was dead.

Maqsood was unconscious when she was thrown into the water. After her family left, she regained consciousness and was able to swim to the bank of the canal. Two passers-by helped her to safety.

The Independent reports that local police official Ali Akbar said, “She is a brave girl. She came out of the canal and approached a nearby fuel station from where a rescue team rushed her to a hospital.”

Authorities searched her father’s home in the city of Gujranwala. All the suspects had disappeared.

Police official Ali Akbar told Reuters, “It is an honor-related incident.”

Many conservative Pakistani families believe that women are expected to go along with arranged marriages, making it rare to marry out of love. It is considered dishonorable for a woman to fall in love and choose her own husband. This can lead to “honor killing,” which is what the family of Saba Maqsood attempted.

Maqsood suffered injuries to her hand and cheek, but is in stable condition.

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