An 18-year-old Pakistani woman who survived an attack by relatives, who tried to kill her for marrying someone she loves, has said that she feared for her life and appealed for protection.
Saba Maqsood, survived being shot and thrown in a canal by her family just days after the ‘honour killing’ of another woman in Pakistan drew worldwide condemnation.
Maqsood angered her family by marrying the man of her choice a few days ago in the Punjabi city of Gujranwala - an act of defiance in a conservative part of Pakistan where women are expected to agree to arranged marriages.
Maqsood, still weak after being shot twice in the cheek and right hand, has said that she intends to appeal to the chief minister and authorities to take serious notice of the attack on her and take necessary action for her security
It’s alleged that Maqsood was attacked and shot by her father, uncle, brother and aunt, and thrown into the waterway in the city of Hafizabad in Punjab province on Thursday June 5th.
Her relatives quickly fled the scene, but after minutes in the water Maqsood regained consciousness and managed to struggle to the bank, where two passers-by helped her.
Police have pledged to protect Maqsood.
"We have moved Saba to a private room in the hospital and deployed female and male police officers for her security," said regional police officer Ali Akbar speaking to press.
"I have contacted her husband Qaiser but he is reluctant to come to the hospital because he is afraid of being attacked."
Police have raided Maqsood's home but all the suspects appear to have vanished, police said.
Last month, a pregnant Pakistani woman, Farzana Iqbal, was attacked and killed by suspected family members because she had married the man she loved, just yards away from a Pakistan High Court.
Pakistani human rights activists holding placards took to the streets in protest in Islamabad against the killing of Farzana who was beaten to death with bricks.
The case drew intense global attention, including condemnation from the United Nations, partly because it happened in broad daylight in the centre of the city of Lahore.