The father of Aneesa and Arooj Abbas, two Pakistani sisters living in Spain who were shot dead by their own family members in a suspected honor killing last May, has been arrested by authorities near Barcelona for his involvement in the attack.
Ghulam Abbas was arrested by the Mossos d’Esquadra and the National Police Force at his family’s former residence in the Catalonian city of Terrassa on Wednesday.
Six other members of the family had already been arrested shortly after the double murder and remain in custody in Pakistan.
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It is suspected that Aneesa, 24, and Arooj, 21, both of whom had Spanish citizenship, were the victims of an honor-related attack after the pair, who had been forced to marry their cousins back in Pakistan in an attempt to help them get Spanish citizenship, told their family they wanted to re-marry in Spain.
They were accused by their family back in Pakistan of intentionally delaying their spouse’s visa applications.
It is alleged the sisters were tricked into returning home on May 19 last year with their mother to the eastern city of Gujrat, Pakistan, and were murdered in horrific circumstances the day after they arrived.
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The pair were first strangled and then shot by their own family. The mother of the women attempted to help her daughters but was locked away in another room.
The women’s husbands and cousins, Hassan Aurengzeb and Atiq Hanif, their uncle, Hanif Goga, and their brother, Shehryar Abbas, were all arrested shortly after the attack and confessed to the killing, while two other men were also reportedly arrested at the time for their involvement.
“The investigations have confirmed that both the sisters were killed in the name of ‘honor’,” investigating police officer Muhammad Akhtar said at the time of the arrests.
The extent to which Aneesa and Arooj’s father participated in the attack is yet unknown.
Prosecutors are now expected to conduct further investigations into Ghulam Abbas’ involvement in the double murder.