RAWALPINDI - Jhelum police have asked the Pakistani Foreign Office (FO) to verify the wedding certificate of a deceased British national of Pakistani origin, Samia Shahid, and her second husband Mukhtar Kazim from United Kingdom (UK) to establish the legal status of their marriage. In another development, Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Thursday appointed Deputy Inspector General Police Abubakar Khuda Bakhsh to investigate the death of the British woman.

"We are treating this as a very high-profile case of high priority," said police spokeswoman Nabeela Ghazanfar. Police had not made any arrests but had questioned Shahid's father and were searching for her divorced first husband, Choudhry Shakeel, who was missing.

Her second husband, Kazim Mukhtar, told media on Thursday that they had both received death threats from her family in the past. Her relatives have said she died of natural causes.

Police officer Aqeel Abbas said bruising found on Shahid's neck could have occurred while her body was being moved or buried.

"She was asthmatic and diabetic," he said. "The forensic report will reveal the real cause of her death." Shah's husband Kazim Mukhtar said he believed she had been poisoned and then strangled. "I have received the post-mortem report that says there is a 19-cm long reddish bruise on her neck, which strengthens my doubts," he told Reuters

Police have also asked FO to get details of the divorce by Samia Shahid from her ex-hubby Muhammad Shakil from UK. The police seek verification of the marriage and divorce certificates as Samia’s parents have claimed that Muhammad Shakil was her husband and not Mukhtar Kazim, a high ranking police officer disclosed to The Nation yesterday.

Meanwhile, the Jhelum police have been pending arrests of the accused in the alleged honour killing until issuance of the reports of Forensic Lab Lahore. According to police officer, who spoke on condition of anonymity, District Police Officer (DPO) Jhelum Mujahid Akbar Khan has written a letter to Foreign Office to get details about the marriage of the victim woman.

He added that the DPO in the letter also asked the FO to check the legal status of divorce by Samia Shahid to her first husband Muhammad Shakil since the girl according to British laws divorces the husband in case of differences between the couple.

Sharing another detail with The Nation, the police officer said that Samia Shahid has been living with Muhammad Shakil in Pindori, Mangla Cantt, after arriving from Sharjah and the couple also allegedly visited a Gynaecologist in Jhelum. "Samia was found dead in the house of Muhammad Shakil and police are also investigating this aspect of the case," he said. He said that Muhammad Shakil remains at large.

“Though the family of Samia Shahid declared her death natural yet police carried out a post-mortem of the deceased from DHQ Jhelum as precautionary measures during which no torture mark was found on body of deceased,” he said in response to another query. However, a private television channel reported Thursday that there was a wound on the neck of the victim.

Earlier, a man namely Mukhtar Kazim, son of Iftikhar Kazim of Sultanpur Taxila and currently a resident of Dubai, appeared before PS Mangla Cantt, and lodged a complaint that he married Samia Shahid on 17th September, 2014 in England. He noted that Samia Shahid had earlier married with a man Shakil on will of her parents but later Shakil divorced her on first May, 2014. He told police that he was living with his wife in Dubai happily and his father-in-law Shahid had settled dispute with Samia tactfully. On 11 July, 2016, the complainant said, his mother-in-law Imtiaz Bibi phoned Samia telling her about sickness of her father and asked her to come Pakistan immediately. He mentioned that Madiha, his sister-in-law, had dispatched an air ticket for Samia and his wife travelled to Pakistan from Sharjah on 14 July, 2016.

He told that his wife called him from Pakistan and told him her father was okay. “My wife told me in a chocked voice on the phone that her life is in danger,” he wrote in application.

“I talked with my wife last on 20 July,2016 at 12:30pm and after her cellphone was switched off,” the application read. The second husband said that he contacted Mobin the same day who informed him that Samia had died of cardiac arrest. Mukhtar Kazim told police he immediately arrived in Pakistan and he believed that her wife was murdered by Muhammad Shahid, Shakil, Imtiaz Bibi, Mubin and Madiha.

Taking action, police lodged a murder case against the accused on 23 July, 2016 under Section 302/34 of Pakistan Penal Code (PPC).