A Pakistani bride is making international headlines after being charged with the poisoning of her husband and his family. According to BBC, Asiya Bibi has been arrested on suspicion of killing her new husband and at least 14 of his relatives with poisoned milk.
Bibi was apparently forced into an arranged marriage in September. Local media in central Muzaffargarh share that the bride had tried to flee her marital home — unsuccessfully — and return to her parents.
Arranged marriages are common in the country, and women have varying degrees of choice in whom they marry and their life thereafter. As PBS notes, an arranged marriage distinguishes itself from other kinds of marriages (such as "love marriages" more common in the US) by the significant role that parents or older family members play in selecting a match and being involved in the union.
Allegedly, Bibi tried to kill only her husband with poisoned milk last week, but he did not drink it. The milk was then turned into a batch of lassi, a popular yogurt drink, and served to his extended family.
Asiya Bibi has been charged with murder. A man, who is alleged to be her lover, as well as his aunt have also been arrested. Local authorities have arrested the suspects under an anti-terror law.
"We include this clause primarily to deter the local people from committing such crimes," District Police Officer Muzaffargarh Awais Ahmad Malik said.
Though the tainted drinks initially only killed eight people when they were served last Thursday, the death toll has been rising.
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