By Mubasher Bukhari
LAHORE, Pakistan (Reuters) – A father in Pakistan is suspected of killing his two daughters and four grandchildren by burning down their home because one of the women married against her will, police said Sunday.
Manzoor Hussain is being hunted by police after he allegedly set fire to the house where sisters Fauzia Bibi and Khurshid Mai lived in a village in central Pakistan’s Muzaffargargh district, police officer Abdul Majeed told Reuters by telephone. Mai’s husband also died in the fire, Majeed said.
Bibi married Mehboob Ahmad about 18 months ago, against her father’s wishes, the police said, as opposed to an arranged marriage. “The crime is a result of the rivalry between the two families over marriage for love,” Majeed said.
Bibi’s husband, Ahmad, told police he was not home at the time of the fire and that he found the house on fire when he returned from work early in the morning, according to his statement to officers.
Ahmad said his four-month-old son had died, along with Mai’s three children, aged two, six and thirteen.
Hundreds of women in Pakistan are killed by relatives each year for marrying without their families’ consent or against the wishes of their families, according to the Pakistan Human Rights Commission.
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