A 21-year-old Pakistani woman has been accused of murdering her husband and 16 other members of his family. The woman, Asiya Bibi, had added poison to his milk. However, his mother had mixed the milk into Lassi and served it to 27 members of his family. Seventeen of them are dead and 10 are in the hospital.

Bibi wanted to poison her husband because she wanted to escape the marriage that she was forced into

Her lover, Shahid Lashari, said that he gave her the poison, and that he had asked her to marry him. However, Bibi has denied this.

She told reporters that she “repeatedly asked my parents not to marry me against my will as my religion, Islam, also allows me to choose the man of my choice for marriage, but my parents rejected all of my pleas and they married me to a relative.”

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Bibi continued to meet Lashari after her marriage. On Tuesday (Oct 31), she admitted that he had given her the poison, but said that she had not meant to harm anyone other than her husband. 

Bibi admitted that she continued her love affair with her boyfriend even after she got married. She also said that she had told her parents that she would go to any lengths to leave the marriage, but they refused to allow her to get a divorce.

The woman has been charged with murder, and her lover and his aunt Zarina Mai were also arrested.

Bibi’s story has gone viral in the West.

Forced marriages aren’t uncommon in the country. Around 21% of girls in Pakistan are married before the age of 18. Pakistan accounts for 612 of over 1,400 cases of forced marriage reported in Britain last year.

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