ISLAMABAD – The widow and mother-in-law of a Pakistani man killed by a CIA contractor last year were murdered Monday, allegedly by the widow's father who may have feared she would remarry and take the "blood money" she received with her, police said.
The families of the two men killed by Raymond Davis last January received hundreds of thousands of dollars in exchange for pardoning the killer, a common legal practice in Pakistan. The money normally goes to the wife if her husband was killed.
The widow who was murdered Monday in the eastern city of Lahore, Zohra Haider, wanted to remarry and was supported by her mother, Nabeela Bibi, said police officer Athar Waheed. But her father, Shahzad Butt, opposed the move, possibly because she would take her fortune with her when she remarried, Waheed said.
"We will investigate that aspect as a possible motive," said Waheed.
Butt allegedly shot and killed his wife after having an argument about the issue in their house in a middle class neighborhood in Lahore that they bought with the blood money, said Waheed. He chased his daughter as she tried to escape and allegedly shot and killed her in the street, said Waheed. The shooter escaped.
Davis said he shot Haider's husband, Faizan, and another Pakistani man last year because they tried to rob him as he was driving his car through Lahore. The U.S. and Pakistan argued for nearly seven weeks over whether Davis had diplomatic immunity before the blood money was paid, and he was freed.
The U.S. denied paying the compensation to the families, but many believe it was simply routed through Pakistani officials. Reports of the total payout varied from $1 million to over $2 million.
A third Pakistani man was killed by a U.S. vehicle rushing to the scene of the shootings, but the driver was never taken into custody.
The incident seriously damaged the already troubled relationship between Pakistan and the U.S., one that got worse only months later when American commandos killed Osama bin Laden in a covert raid in a Pakistani garrison town last May.