"My thoughts and prayers are with her family," said Vaccines Minister Nadhim Zahawi
Police in Lahore are searching for two men after the killing of a law graduate, reportedly after the men had each pressured her to marry them.
Mayra Zulfiquar, a 24-year-old Londoner who moved to Pakistan two months ago, was found dead in her rented flat after four men including the two chief suspects were believed to have broken in early on Monday.
Punjab Police superintendent Sidra Khan, citing an initial post-mortem report, told English-language newspaper Dawn that Ms Zulfiquar had two bullet wounds – one to her neck and another to her arm – and had bled to death. Bruises were found on her right hand and left foot.
Police said they have opened a first information report (FIR) on the case after receiving a complaint from Ms Zulfiquar’s uncle, Lahore resident Mohammad Nazeer.
The FIR said Mr Nazeer found his niece’s body after receiving a phone call from her father in London to say she had been killed.
Mr Nazeer also said Ms Zulfiquar had told him she had become embroiled in a dispute with two male friends after she had refused their marriage proposals, and that they had threatened her with “dire consequences”.
Sayyed Ali, an operations superintendent at Punjab Police, told Dawn an unidentified caller had alerted the force about the murder and that forensic experts visited and cordoned off the scene.
“We are also after two suspects and will share further details at a later stage,” Mr Sayyed said, adding Ms Zulfiquar had been found lying in a pool of blood in her room with her mobile phone near her body.
“We have seized the mobile phone for forensic analysis.”
Mr Sayyed said police were also analysing footage from nearby CCTV cameras in the hope of finding suspects.
Ms Zulfiquar’s parents are expected to arrive in Lahore from their home in west London later this week. Their daughter had travelled to Pakistan for a wedding two months ago and had decided to stay, Dawn said.
In a statement, Duncan Blackett Law said Ms Zulfiqar had been briefly enrolled on its legal mentorship programme before it was postponed as a result of the coronavirus outbreak and she was an “excellent mentee who demonstrated a keen interest in commercial law”.
Dawn reported Ms Zulfiquar had dual British-Belgian citizenship but the Foreign Office (FO) later confirmed that, while she was a UK resident, she was a Belgian national.
The Foreign Office said officials had been supporting the family, who had been referred to Belgian consular services, and added that “our thoughts are with the family at this difficult time”.