“My mum is 100 per cent innocent."
A Leeds woman whose mother faces a potential death penalty after allegedly ordering the murder of her husband in Pakistan has launched a campaign to clear her name.
Mohammad Farooq, from Headingley, Leeds, was allegedly strangled at the family’s home in a town near Rawalpindi.
His body was then put in a car and driven to a rubbish dump around 27 miles away where the vehicle was set alight.
Mr Farooq’s remains were found at the dump at Morgah on April 1, 2022.
Police arrested 62-year-old Yasmin Kausar on suspicion of ordering her husband’s murder and she is currently detained in a Pakistani prison.
Police believe Yasmin was in a relationship with one of her co-accused, 22-year-old Abdul Waheed, who was arrested alongside Abdul Idrees.
But her daughter Saima Bashir branded the allegations “nonsense” and said her mother had been framed for the murder.
She also hit back at claims by police probing the murder that her mother was in a relationship with one of the men accused of the killing.
Saima said: “My mum is 100 per cent innocent. She was married to my stepdad for 23 years, they had a loving relationship.
“They were like soul mates, they were best friends. There’s no way my mum would have done this.
“There’s no toyboy, there’s nothing like that. Her oldest grandchild is 19, there’s no way she would have been having a relationship with someone young enough to be her grandson.”
Saima says she fears for her mother’s safety in the prison where she is being held on remand ahead of a court appearance.
She claims her mother was withheld her diabetes medication. Saima also alleged that her mother was beaten and tortured.
And while they have been told she now has access to her medication, she fears her mother’s health is deteriorating at such a rate she may die in prison.
Saima continued: “They’ve arrested my mum and on the second day, they’ve tried to interrogate mum to make her confess that she’s killed him.
“She’s been subjected to mental and physical abuse since her arrest.
“It’s very scary, she faces the death penalty, but she’s probably close to death as it is.
“On Thursday, my uncle in Pakistan made contact with her and he said she’s lost a lot of weight and she’s very weak.”
Mr Farooq was a wealthy businessman. While he lived in a £1.5 million house, Yasmin lived with her daughter in a more modest, £180,000 home in another area of Leeds.
Saima also rubbished claims that her mother stood to benefit financially from her husband’s death, adding that her inheritance would have been minimal compared to other relatives.
“It’s Ramadan, it’s supposed to be the month of blessing. We don’t know what day it is, we don’t know what time it is.
“We’ve not slept for days. I’m not eating. It’s a living nightmare.”
“We’ve not been able to grieve his death. I was very young when they got married, we had a really close relationship, he’s been a father figure to me. We had a really good connection.
“It must be the quickest a murder has ever been solved in history. It just doesn’t add up.
“We just want justice for Mr Farooq and we want justice for my mum. We can’t get justice for one without the other.
“We want them to solve the murder and we want our mum home safe.”
A week after Yasmin’s arrest, her son Sajid Bashir travelled to Pakistan and stated that he was horrified to see the conditions she was being kept in.
He said: “She told me she hadn’t done it. I asked her if they’d hit her and she said she’s been beaten, she started crying and I hugged her.
“We’re distraught, upset and we feel helpless. It’s been exhausting.
“We want the UK government to get involved and see that her human rights have been adhered to.”
Bradford West MP Naz Shah has written to Pakistan Prime Minister to raise concerns.
In the letter, she highlights the family’s concerns about the investigation’s credibility and a recording taken by Sajid of a conversation with a police officer which suggests Yasmin has been framed.