Housemaid dies after being set on fire in Pakistan

A housemaid was killed by her employers in Pakistan's Punjab province after being set on fire for failing to repay a debt, police said Wednesday.

The incident occurred on Sunday in Nankana Sahib district about 60 miles (95 kilometres) from the eastern city of Lahore.

"Fouzia Bibi, the victim and her husband were working at the house of a local landlord for the last five months and they had taken PKR 25,000 ($237) in advance from them," local police official Jaffar Hussain told AFP.

The police officer said the couple told the landlords - a father and son - that they planned to quit their jobs when the employers inquired about the advance.

"The couple had nothing to give back so the landlords beat the husband and locked him in a room and sprinkled petrol over the woman and set her ablaze," he added.

The victim was later rushed to a hospital in Faisalabad where she died.

Asghar Shaheen, another local police official confirmed the incident, saying the suspects had been arrested.

Muhammad Amir, the victim's brother-in-law, said the landlords had a history of torturing the couple.

"They were neither given food or salary," he added.

Domestic helpers are routinely subjected to physical and sexual violence in Pakistan but face little legal recourse against their employers in the absence of adequate legislation safeguarding their rights.

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