they were shot dead by the suspected killer
A Pakistani man has been arrested after he filmed himself kissing two girls who were later murdered in a so-called “honour killing”.
According to a police statement, Umar Ayaz, aged 28, is charged with making the video.
The teenagers were killed for the sake of “honour” supposedly by a relative after a video of them with Ayaz surfaced on social media.
The father of one of the girls and another three relatives were arrested for failing to report the killings and concealing evidence.
The man who is believed to have carried out the murders remains at large.
Police have stated that they are looking for Mohammad Aslam. They have also arrested another man on whose phone the footage was shot and who has been charged with sharing the video.
The teenage victims were cousins aged 16 and 18.
It was reported that they were shot dead by the suspected killer on May 14, 2020, in the village of Shaam Plain Garyom on the border of North and South Waziristan tribal districts in the province of Khyber Pakhtunkwa.
Local district police officer Shafiullah Gandapur explained that they initially heard reports of the murders through social media.
The officers who travelled to the village “found traces of blood, as well as blood-stained fabric”.
The killings are related to the video which went viral. In the 52-second video, Ayaz records himself speaking with three teenage girls in a secluded area outdoors.
In the footage, the Pakistani man is seeing kissing two of the girls, who were later murdered.
The third girl is not kissed. According to police, she is the wife of the alleged killer and is believed to be in hiding. Police are searching for her as her life may still be at risk.
The video was reportedly filmed nearly a year ago but went viral a few weeks ago.
Human Rights Watch says that violence against women and girls in Pakistan remains a serious problem.
Activists believe that 1,000 honour killings are carried out across the country every year. Many of them go unreported.
The government tightened the laws following the murder of social media star Qandeel Baloch in 2016.
Honour killings happen mainly due to the victim refusing to enter into an arranged marriage, was a sexual assault victim or who had sexual relations outside marriage, even if it is alleged.
However, killings have happened for more trivial reasons, like dressing in a way that is deemed inappropriate or displaying behaviour seen as disobedient.