Woman Minister Gunned Down For Not Wearing Proper Islamic Dress

Posted on February 25, 2007

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by Azhar Masood and Agencies
Arab News

ISLAMABAD, 21 February 2007 — A suspected militant yesterday shot dead Punjab’s minister for social welfare while she was about to address a meeting in Gujranwala. Fayyaz Chattha, the district administrator of Gujranwala, told Arab News a serial killer shot the minister, Zille Huma Usman, wounding her seriously. She succumbed to her injuries in hospital.

Officials said the attacker killed her because she was not wearing proper Muslim dress. Huma, 35, was known as a women’s rights activist and had previously promoted a mini-marathon involving women runners that sparked riots in 2005.

“She was shot dead while at a meeting with party workers,” provincial Law Minister Raja Basharat told AFP.

Police said the attacker identified as Mohammad Sarwar in his 40s, wearing a cloak, approached Huma as party activists threw rose petals at her then took out his pistol and shot her in the temple in cold blood. “He killed her because she was not observing the Islamic code of dress. She was also campaigning for emancipation of women,” local police officer Nazir Ahmad said. “The suspect is an extremist and he has a history of targeting woman whom he believed to be immoral.” Huma died in hospital while her killer, a stonemason, was arrested.

The man was arrested by police in 2002 for killing two women who were prostitutes but he was acquitted due to lack of evidence, Ahmad said. “He did not represent any militant organization but he was a fanatic on his own.”

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