23/Apr/2014 - Last News Update: 18:02

Shafilea Ahmed's father had 'embraced Western culture'

Category: England

Published: 3rd Aug 2012 22:38:54

Iftikhar Ahmed embraced Western culture until his marriage to Farzana, his ex-wife said.

Iftikhar and Farzana were jailed for life for the murder of their daughter Shafilea in Warrington in 2003, after a jury heard she brought them shame.

Vivi Lone Andersen said Iftikhar was "a very happy boy" who enjoyed dancing, drinking beer and going to discos when he lived with her in Denmark.

She said his personality changed around his Pakistani relatives.

Ms Anderson, who is Danish, married Iftikhar in 1982 in Copenhagen and they had a son, Tony Andersen.

The couple lived in Denmark until 1986, when he received a letter from family in Pakistan and told his wife he had to go home as his mother was unwell.

After several months in Pakistan, Iftikhar asked Ms Anderson to join him in Bradford with their son to start a new life.

When she arrived, a heavily pregnant woman, whom Iftikhar introduced as his cousin Farzana, was also living in the house.

It was only when a health visitor went to the house that Iftikhar admitted that Farzana's baby was his and that he had married her in Pakistan.

He told his wife that he and Farzana had been promised to each other when they were children.

Ms Andersen left the UK the same month she had arrived and recalls conversations with Iftikhar in which he said he could leave his son to grow up without his influence because he was a boy.

He said, if they had had a girl, he would not be able to allow her to grow up "without his guidance in the Islamic ways".

Ms Andersen said Iftikhar changed when relatives from Pakistan visited them, and he told her he felt forced to marry Farzana after she threatened to kill herself if he did not.

"He explained to me that if he had not married her, she did not want to marry anyone else but him," Ms Andersen said.

"She would kill herself if he didn't marry her in Pakistan, and then he did it."

Ms Andersen said she was married to Iftikhar for five years, but left him after learning he had married Farzana, adding: "Farzana was pregnant at that time so he was in deep trouble and he knew that if I went to the British police, which I could have easily done, he would have been thrown out.

"I don't know the rules in Britain about having two wives because we were still married at that time."

Iftikhar, 52, and Farzana, 49, went on to have three daughters and a son. Shafilea went missing in 2003 and her body was found in February 2004.

The couple had denied her murder but the jury at Chester Crown Court returned guilty verdicts against them both.

Source:
BBC News External Link Show Citation

Latest News

Harvard Citation

BBC News, 2012. Shafilea Ahmed's father had 'embraced Western culture' [Online] (Updated 3rd Aug 2012)
Available at: http://www.ukwirednews.com/news/1444460/Shafilea-Ahmeds-father-had-embraced-Western-culture [Accessed 23rd Apr 2014]

News In Other Categories

  • Mexican writer Elena Poniatowska receives Cervantes prize

    Mexican writer and journalist Elena Poniatowska has received the most important award for literature in the Spanish language, the Cervantes prize.
  • Amazon and HBO sign streaming deal

    Customers of streaming service Amazon Prime in the US will be able to watch TV shows including The Sopranos and The Wire as part of a licensing agreement with subscription channel HBO.
  • PhoneWatch creates 230 jobs in Republic of Ireland

    A home security company is creating 230 jobs by expanding its operations in the Republic of Ireland.
  • Bristol Academy extends reach overseas with first foreign students

    With the doors to its brand new £1million training centre officially open, one of the UK's leading apprentice training providers, Bristol based S&B Automotive Academy, is showcasing its world-class facilities by launching a series of foreign student exchanges for the first time in its 41-year history. To get a flavour of what life is like as an apprentice in the UK, the Academy hosted 16 apprentice engineers and bus drivers from the G9 Automotive College in Hamburg, Germany, as part of a Europe-wide vocational training initiative called the ‘Leonardo Programme’ with support from the European Social Fund. In a reciprocal arrangement, S&B will be sending nine apprentices to Germany during February 2012 so that they can get an appreciation of life in the automotive industry on the Continent. A further three German exchange groups are being planned for next year. Designed to assist the development of vocational skills and training across Europe, including work placements for trainees, the Leonardo Programme has a budget of €1.75bn, which is helping to encourage UK organisations to work with their counterparts abroad. In what is expected to be another challenging year for employers in the UK automotive sector, S&B’s Chief Executive, Jon Winter, claims that the exchange initiative will bring many benefits to the Academy and its apprentices: “In a world of global automotive brands, it’s important for our learners to understand the international context of the industry they have chosen to make their career. This new exchange programme will enable apprentices and Academy staff alike to achieve a better understanding of the challenges and opportunities within the automotive arena in Europe. With the Academy’s influence also extending to the USA and Asia, there’s every possibility that this initiative could move further afield in the future.” Continued Winter: “The need for skilled technicians across the world is on the increase and we actively encourage our apprentices to look at broader horizons during their training. Many of them have already learned the phrase ‘Vorsprung durch Gelehrtheit’, quite simply, ‘Advancement through learning.” In the 2010/11 academic year, S&B doubled the number of successful Apprenticeships over the previous year with some 350 apprentices graduating from the Academy. At the same time, achievement levels reached an all-time high with an overall success rate of 85%. For those learners on the Advanced Apprenticeship three-year programme, success rates were even higher, at over 98%. PHOTO CAPTION: As part of their exchange visit, S&B Automotive Academy arranged for the German apprentices to visit Hampshire bus operator, Bluestar, at its Barton Park depot. The students are pictured with S&B’s Andy West (3rd right) and Steve Prewett, Bluestar’s Area Engineering Manager (2nd right). Ends http://www.sandbaa.com
  • UKIP angry over similarly named rival party

    UKIP has said it is "extremely unhappy and concerned" about the name of another Eurosceptic party contesting the forthcoming European elections.
  • Anatomy of the cost of a new drug

    The cost of drugs is in the headlines following the decision by NHS watchdog NICE that a new cancer treatment should not be funded.