Pakistani minister assassinated for not wearing veil

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Thursday, February 22, 2007

A Pakistani minister and woman’s activist was shot and killed last Tuesday because she refused to wear the veil.

Zilla Huma Usman, the minister for social welfare in Punjab province and an ally of President Pervez Musharraf, was killed as she was about to deliver a speech to dozens of party activists. Her assassin, Muhammad Sarwar, believed that she was dressed inappropriately and that women should not be involved in politics, officials said.

“I have no regrets. I killed her out of the conviction that she was leading an un-Islamic life and spreading an evil influence on other women,” Muhammad Sarwar told his interrogators, according to a police source.

Usman, 35, was wearing the shalwar kameez worn by many professional women in Pakistan, but did not cover her head.