Saturday December 02, 2023

Husband confesses to murdering Pak-origin American wife

December 26, 2021
Husband confesses to murdering Pak-origin American wife

RAWALPINDI: Solving the mystery of kidnapping of Pakistani-origin American woman, Wajeeha Farooq Swati, the Rawalpindi Police have recovered her body from a village of Hangu and arrested her husband and father-in-law in Rawalpindi.

The first husband of Wajeeha, Ali Mehdi, was murdered in Chiniot in 2014 but his killers have not yet been traced, police sources disclosed, adding that she wedded Rizwan Habib Bangash in 2016. Wajeeha arrived in Rawalpindi in the mid of this year and stayed with her second husband in DHA Phase-I. People involved in the investigation of the case said some diffrences developed between the couple soon after she arrived.

“Wajeeha Rizwan went missing on October 16, 2021 from her home in mysterious circumstance and remained unnoticed for two weeks,” the police said. Meanwhile, when Abdullah Mehdi Ali, elder son of Wajeeha, living in the US, failed to contact his mother, he emailed a complaint to the regional police officer (RPO). Abdullah submitted an application for registration of an FIR against his step-father Rizwan Habib, son of Kareemullah Khan Bangash, a resident of House No 5-A DHA Rawalpindi.

The applicant said: My mother Wajeeha Farooq Swati, daughter of Umer Farooq Swati, visited Pakistan along with my cousin from the UK on 16-10-2021 and landed at the Islamabad airport. Their scheduled return flight was set to depart at 00.20 hrs on Oct 22 from the Islamabad airport that she never boarded, but my cousin boarded the flight for the UK. My cousin’s NICOP Card and passport were with my mother and after her abduction, he had to make new travel documents. My mother is a US citizen and her two minor children and I had been residing in the US before and after the death of my father.

On October 16, she left my siblings with their aunt for their safety as she was to travel to Pakistan for the settlement of her property with her ex-husband Rizwan Habib who took her to House No 5, Defence Road First Avenue, DHA Rawalpindi. Rizwan Habib sedated them and when my cousin woke up, my mother and that person were nowhere. Upon his hue and cry, the servants tried to lock him up in a room but he managed to escape from the house and later left the country on 22/10/2021 and that too on an emergency passport since his original documents were with my mother. I believe that Rizwan abducted my mother and exposed her to mental, physical and sexual abuse as he had threatened me and my aunty in the UK that he would kill my mother if the matter is reported to the police. All communications to her phone had stopped ever since her abduction. It is requested that the case may kindly be registered against Rizwan Habib and my mother be kindly recovered. I have severe threats to my life too and we have already lost one parent in a very tragic manner and we don’t want to lose another one. Therefore, I authorize advocate Shabnam Nawaz who is my mother’s friend as well to proceed on my behalf and submit this application for the registration of a case and represent me in legal proceedings.”

The Morgah Police registered an FIR under Section 365 PPC on November 2, 2021, the police said. Regional Police Officer (RPO) Rawalpindi Region, Ashfaq Ahmad Khan, after resuming his office, reopened the case and constituted teams to probe the case on technical grounds. The police arrested Rizwan and his father Kareemullah.

When contacted, RPO Ashfaq said Rizwan had confessed to the crime, saying that he murdered his wife with the assistance of his father on October 16, 2021 in Rawalpindi when he kidnapped her.

“He later shifted her body to Hangu and buried her in an old house in his village. The police teams sent to Hangu have recovered her body and shifted it to Rawalpindi, the RPO said.