Friends of Ontario university alumnus in mourning after husband arrested in Pakistan murder case

Friends of Sarah Inam are in mourning as police in Pakistan investigate the killing of the 37-year-old alumnus of Ontario's University of Waterloo. Inam's husband of four months and his father, a columnist and TV political analyst in Pakistan, have been arrested.

Sarah Inam's killing is 'painful and unbelievable,' former classmate at Ontario university says

The friends of Sarah Inam are in mourning after the alumnus of the University of Waterloo in Ontario was killed in Pakistan and her husband was arrested.

Inam, 37, had been married for four months to Shahnawaz Amir, the son of Ayaz Amir, a columnist and TV political analyst in Pakistan, The Associated Press reports.

Police in Pakistan said Shahnawaz was arrested after Inam was allegedly killed Friday at the couple's home following a row over a family issue. His father has also been arrested after the beating death.

Sara Syeda attended the University of Waterloo with Inam in 2002. They were classmates and close friends.

"For her to be brutally killed like this is unbelievable," Syeda told CBC News. "She wasn't the type of person to get into fights or anything. Really, she wouldn't hurt a fly. To hear that she was beaten to death is painful and unbelievable."

Police officer Mohammad Faizan said Ayaz appeared in court in Pakistan's capital of Islamabad on Sunday, accused of aiding his son, the AP says.

According to police, Shahnawaz confessed to hitting his wife repeatedly with a dumbbell and then later trying to hide her body in a bathtub.

None of the allegations have been proven in court. It's not immediately known whether any charges have been laid.

University chancellor 'deeply saddened'

Inam's death has led to a flood of online reaction from social media users around the world, speaking out against gender-based violence.

Vivek Goel, the University of Waterloo's president and vice-chancellor, was among those sharing his thoughts and condolences online.

"I was deeply saddened to wake up to news of the death in Pakistan of a former #UWaterloo student, Sara Inam," he said in a tweet. "Sara was killed as a result of intimate partner violence. The continued prevalence of gender-based violence here in Canada and around the world weighs heavily on us all."

Inam's first name is spelled different ways in various online sources. The Associated Press spells her first name as Sarah.

Syeda said she first met Inam through the Pakistani Students' Association at the University of Waterloo, where they would bond over planning fundraisers on campus.

"My memories of her are pleasant, beautiful memories. She was one of the sweetest girls I knew on campus," said Syeda, adding the news of Inam's death has hurt many in the alumni community.

"We're all traumatized and in pain. They're just as shocked as I am. Some of them met her just a few months ago when she was working in Dubai. She had gone to Pakistan, to Islamabad, to meet her husband — and then this happened. It's so hard to believe."

Syeda said she's working with some friends and former classmates to organize a virtual vigil for Inam.


Aastha Shetty

CBC journalist

Aastha Shetty can be reached via email or by tweeting her at @aastha_shetty

With files from The Associated Press

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