KARACHI, Pakistan – A 17-year-old Pakistani girl was mauled by dogs and shot to death in front of him over a land dispute disguised as a so-called "honor killing," her father said.
Female senators staged a walkout from the federal parliament Monday to press for action on better protections for women after a national newspaper published details of Tasleem Solangi's death.
"How long will women be buried alive and made to face hungry dogs? Women are not given their rights," opposition lawmaker Semi Siddiqui said.
Ibrahim Solangi, 28, has been in custody ever since Taslim's death in March and is awaiting trial on murder charges, said Pir Mohammad Shah, the police chief of the Khairpur Mirs district in southern Pakistan. Taslim's husband was also her first cousin.
Human rights groups say hundreds of women are killed by male relatives every year in Pakistan for alleged infidelity or other perceived slights to the family name, and activists say many more cases go unreported.
In August, a Pakistani lawmaker drew fierce criticism after describing a case in which five women were allegedly buried alive for trying to choose their husbands as the product of "centuries-old traditions" that he would defend.
As in that case, the allegations surrounding the death of Tasleem Solangi remain unproven.
Speaking to reporters in Karachi on Monday, Taslim's father said he was locked up in his home and forced to watch from a window as dogs chased her and then mauled her when she fell down exhausted. She then was shot, he said.
Gulsher Solangi said the killing was the culmination of a land dispute. He said his nephew had beaten Taslim throughout the five months of their marriage to pressure him to hand over his small farm.
Faced with more threats, Gulsher Solangi said he had fled with his wife and another daughter and abandoned his home.
Zameer Hussain Solangi, the girl's father-in-law, claimed Monday that his son confessed to the killing under police torture and that the allegation regarding the dogs was "baseless."
He said a tribal council later declared the dead woman an adulterer and compensated the husband with her jewelry.
The girl's father claimed that the tribal council, chaired by a local chieftain, declared his daughter an adulterer in May to mask the land-grab and the involvement of others.
Shah, the police chief, said he knew nothing of the alleged land-grab or the dogs and promised to investigate further.
Pakistan's government, now led by the liberal party of slain former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, has vowed to improve women's rights in Pakistan. Former President Pervez Musharraf made similar moves, notably watering down rape laws that had made it hard for victims to prove their case, despite opposition from hardline Islamic groups.