The father and brother of Aqsa Parvez have pleaded guilty to murdering the rebellious 16-year-old in an abhorrent honour killing.
Muhammad Parvez, 60, and his son, Waqas, 29, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder Tuesday in the Dec. 10 2007 strangulation of Aqsa and they face an automatic term of life in prison.
At the time of her shocking murder, which Peel Police have described as a “planned and deliberate act,” the Grade 11 Mississauga student was estranged from her Muslim family because she was bristling at their restrictions. She had moved in with a friend’s family and no longer wore a hijab in her Applewood high school in Mississauga.
In an agreed statement of facts read by Sandra Caponecchia, court heard Aqsa, who had already been promised by her family in an arranged marriage, ran away from home twice because of her lack of freedom. With assistance from her school counselor, she stayed at a shelter the first time and with a friend the next. Despite her father allowing her to wear Western clothes and begging her to return, she refused to come back.
She had told her friends that her dad had sworn on the Koran that he would kill her if she ran away again.
On Dec. 10, her brother Waqsa confronted her at the school bus stop and she was taken away in the Parvez van at about 7:20 am. Just over 30 minutes later, her father called 911 and said he “killed his daughter” using his hands.
Police found her fully clothed in her basement bedroom, lying face up and with no vital signs. An autopsy determined she’d died from “neck compressions.”
Her mother Anwar Jan told police that she questioned her husband about why he’d killed her.
“He said this is my insult. My community will say you have not been able to control your daughter. This is my insult. She is making me naked.”
When asked if she disagreed with what he’d done, Aqsa’s mother refused to protest his actions. “I cannot say anything. Whatever he thinks, he knows about it. “
Waqsa, a tow truck driver, told a co-worker that he intended to kill his sister and his father would take the blame. “Waqas explained …that his sister was causing the family embarrassment and he had to do it.”
He later told the friend that the guilt was killing him. “He admitted choking her until she died and said that there was no evidence against him,” the Crown said in the agreed statement. “Waqas also explained how what happened was partly Aqsa’s own fault because he had tried twice to talk to her and he even offered to get her own apartment and pay for it so she didn’t have to work and she rejected his offers.”
Her mother, dressed in a white hijab and black cloak, looked on and wiped away tears as Justice Bruce Durno said the two killers face at least 10 years in prison before being eligible for parole. The father, dressed in a blue sweatshirt, and his son, his hair slicked back in a ponytail, showed little emotion as they listened to the lengthy recounting of the heinous family murder.
The elder Parvez came to Canada as a refugee from Pakistan in 1999 and eventually brought his wife and eight children. Aqsa was the youngest and just 11 when she arrived here.
All but three of the siblings were wed in arranged marriages to cousins in Pakistan who later joined them in Canada….