Islamabad/London, May 22 (ANI): The reported "honour" killing of British Muslim family in Jaurah in Pakistan's Gujrat District has left family, friends and neighbours in the Nelson area of Lancashire completely devastated and shocked.
Mohammed Yousaf, 51, his wife, Pervez Bibi, 49, and their daughter, Tania, 22, the mother of two young boys, were on a visit to Jaurah for a family wedding. They were ambushed and gunned down, allegedly by family members in a blood feud in a graveyard in Pakistan, and were buried yesterday amid tight security.
The Times quoted friends and neighbours as saying that Yousaf and his family were well known and highly regarded.
Tania worked as a clerical assistant for a business solutions firm that provides services for Pendle Borough Council, and was described by colleagues as "everybody's best friend".
Her two sons, Arien, 3, and nine-month-old Harris, are being cared for by family in Pakistan.
Yousaf worked as a taxi driver and also for a bed manufacturer. He had allegedly been warned of the possible danger to his life, but had shrugged it off.
Marriage among cousins is common in Pakistan, where divorce is considered to carry a social stigma.
There appeared little sign of the carnage to come when 200 guests gathered for the wedding ceremony between Yousaf's son Asad, one of three sons and three daughters, and his 24-year-old bride, Roma, at the Skyways Hotel, in Kharian, on May 2.
The Yousafs stayed on after the wedding for a holiday while the rest of their extended family flew home. They were expected home on Monday. They had gone to the cemetery to say prayers at the grave of a family member.
Muhammed Anwar, a witness, said the family had just arrived at the grave and had begun praying when the first shots rang out. He said the attackers, in two distinct groups, appeared to fire indiscriminately.
Mohammed Iqbal, a family friend, said that the victims had been warned to stay away from the village because of the tensions surrounding eldest son Kamar's marital break-up, although nobody had expected such a violent reaction, he said.
It is understood that around 70 family members flew to Pakistan to attend the funeral. Asad, the newly married son, had only been back in the UK for a day before the shooting.
Eileen Ansar, who is married to Yousaf's cousin, insisted that Yousaf had treated his daughter-in-law well.
Ms Ansar, a local councillor, said: "There have been tensions since the son and girl separated but the father treated her like his own daughter.
"He looked after the girl, kept her at his home. She is his sister's daughter, he treated her like his own daughter, he loved her and respected her as his own daughter."
Around 100 family and friends gathered for Friday prayers at the Jamia Masjid Minhaj-ul-Quran mosque, in Nelson.
Andrew Stephenson, the MP for Pendle, assured the worshippers that British and Pakistani authorities were liaising to ensure the safety of family members. (ANI)