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‘Forbidden Love’ Trial Nears End

April 17, 2002

NEW YORK (AP) _ The last time Rubina ``Ruby″ Malik saw her husband alive, she told him she had a dream he was killed.

``Don’t worry,″ Shaukat Parvez told his pregnant wife before leaving their apartment to run an errand. ``This is America.″

Parvez was fatally shot a block away _ not by ordinary criminals, but by Malik’s uncle, prosecutors say. They allege he carried out the 1996 hit at the behest of Malik’s strict Pakistani father, who was enraged that she defied his wishes for an arranged marriage.

In Pakistan, the price for breaking with tradition ``was death,″ Assistant U.S. Attorney John Smith said Tuesday during closing arguments in the trial of Manzoor Quadar, who is facing federal murder conspiracy charges. ``The defendant thought he could enforce those rules on the streets of this city.″

Parvez’s attorney, Alexi Schacht, argued there was no eyewitness account or physical evidence that shows his client ``ever wanted to hurt anybody.″

The jury deliberated Tuesday afternoon without reaching a verdict and resumed deliberations Wednesday. If convicted, Quadar could receive a life sentence.

Malik, 26, and Parvez grew up in Rawalpindi, Pakistan. Her father promised her to a distant relative while she was still a child. But she fell in love with Parvez and married him in 1994 over her family’s objections, she said while testifying last week.

``If you think you’re in love with him, just kill yourself, because it’s not going to happen,″ she recalled her brother, Omar, telling her.

The widow claimed that when her father, Rahmat, found out about her marriage, he locked her in a room, beat her and threatened to kill Parvez and his family. He also forced her to go through with the arranged marriage.

In 1996, with the blessing of her arranged husband, Malik fled to New York to live with Parvez, she said. Soon after, Parvez received a warning that Malik’s brother, Omar, had ``bought a gun and wanted to kill him,″ she said.

Authorities alleged that the father had put a $60,000 bounty on Parvez’s head _ and that Quadar wanted to collect.

Records show that Quadar, of Blackburn, England, flew to Newark, N.J., shortly before the shooting. On the night of Nov. 22, 1996, after Parvez left his apartment to buy a phone card, Quadar and Omar Malik pulled up next to him in a car and opened fire with a handgun, prosecutors said.

Quadar and Omar Malik drove all night to Virginia, where another relative helped them escape the country, prosecutors said.

Quadar was arrested in England in January 2000. Omar Malik remains in custody in Pakistan pending extradition. The father has not been charged.