Like many women, Jannat Ara had little say over her marriage, with many unions arranged by relatives
Like many women, Jannat Ara had little say over her marriage, with many unions arranged by relatives AFP / Munir UZ ZAMAN


  • The suspect's daughter, Saman Abbas, was last seen alive in late April
  • Saman told her boyfriend in Italy about the marriage her parents arranged for her
  • Saman's uncle as well as two of her cousins have been arrested after their extraditions from France and Spain

A Pakistani father has been arrested in the suspected honor killing of his daughter in Italy after she reportedly declined an arranged marriage, police said Friday.

Shabbir Abbas was arrested in his village in the eastern Punjab province of Pakistan, following Italian authorities and local police's tip-off in relation to his daughter's disappearance, the New York Post reported, citing senior police official Anwar Saeed Kingra.

Shabbir's 18-year-old daughter, Saman Abbas, was last seen alive in late April by neighbors outside her family's home in the farm town of Novellara, near the city of Reggio Emilia, in Italy, according to the outlet.

A few days later, Milan airport footage showed Saman's parents catching a flight to Pakistan.

Shabbir was arrested days after a body was found in a shallow grave in an abandoned building near the Pakistani family's home.

Though Italian media said that it could take a couple of months to identify the remains, a local court said Thursday that it was "highly likely" the human remains belonged to the missing teenager.

Saman was reportedly pressured by her parents to marry a man in Pakistan whom she had never met.

During an extradition hearing Thursday, Shabbir said that his daughter is alive, the ANSA reported. He also previously claimed that his daughter traveled to Belgium.

According to Amir Shaheen, another senior Pakistani police investigator, Saman's father was being sought by Italian police to face charges in connection with his daughter's suspected murder.

Though he declined to share more details, Shaheen said that the suspect was in the custody of the country's Federal Investigation Agency, which Interpol approached to arrest and extradite the man to Italy.

Before Saman's disappearance, the teen reportedly told her boyfriend in Italy, who is also of Pakistani descent, that her parents were pressuring her to marry an older man in their home country but that she was refusing.

Saman then went to the authorities and was permitted to stay in a shelter under the authorities' protection. However, after staying there for several months, she came back home when her family reportedly sent her text messages begging her to come back, Italian media previously reported.

Saman's uncle Danish Hasnain, who is believed to have strangled her, and two of Saman's cousins, Ikram Ijaz and Nomanhulaq Nomanhulaq, have also been arrested, following their extraditions from France and Spain.

Prosecutors in Italy suspect Saman's parents, her uncle and the two cousins of taking part in her murder as well as in the disposal of her body.

Three of the suspects were captured on surveillance video on April 29, the day before police believe Saman was murdered. They were seen carrying spades, a crowbar and a blue bag.

The next day, Saman was captured on video leaving her house with her parents for the last time.

The girl's mother, Nazia Shaheen, has not been arrested. She remains wanted in Pakistan after being indicted in absentia.

A police line
Representation. A police line. SimaGhaffarzadeh/Pixabay