Mayra Zulfiqar, 24, was found shot dead in Lahore and two men — Zahir Jadoon and Saad Butt — were the two main suspects. Police have now said that since none of these two men was present at the scene of the crime, they might have hired a gunman to shoot Zulfiqar.
The two men had apparently both proposed to her; she had turned them down.
Mr Butt, 28, has since turned himself over to the police. But the officers have said that he has an alibi. Mr Butt was caught at home on CCTV at the time Zulfiqar was shot in the neck and shoulder.
Investigators are also ruling out Mr Jadoon as the murderer since police believe that he was almost 170 miles to the south of Lahore — in Islamabad — on the day of the murder.
Police are now investigating the “hired gunman” angle to the case.
A police source was quoted by The Times as saying: “It’s a cold-blooded murder but neither of the accused were present at the crime scene.”
Lahore police told the media that the 24-year-old woman had arrived in Pakistan two months ago from the UK, where she lived, to attend a wedding.
The police were alerted to the killing by an anonymous caller.
Local news reported that Zulfiqar had submitted an application for police protection from Mr Jadoon. Officials had said earlier that she had uploaded photographs of Mr Jadoon to social media following an argument. “These apparently angered him,” the Dawn reported.
Police had earlier said that Zulfiqar’s body was found in a pool of blood with her mobile phone close to her. They had taken the phone for forensic analysis.
Zulfiquar was a Belgian citizen who lived in London. The UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office said it had referred her family to Belgian consular services.
This article was amended on 18 May, 2021. It was initially thought that Mayra Zulfiqar was a British citizen, however she was a Belgian national, resident in the UK, and we have amended the article to reflect this. We have also removed a statement from the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office that was issued when it understood Zulfiqar to be a British national.