A Pakistani government minister resigned Tuesday as police investigated the death of a Canadian woman at their shared home in the capital, Islamabad.
Shahid Jamil Qureshi, minister of state for communications, announced his resignation at a news conference in Islamabad after talks with Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz.
Relatives of Kafila Siddiqui, a former Toronto resident of Pakistani origin,have accused Qureshi of holding her against her will at the house.
There was conflicting information on whether charges were laid in the case.
The Globe and Mail on Tuesday quoted Senior Supt. Zafar Iqbal as saying police in Islamabad had "registered a case against the minister … on charges of wrongful confinement," but an Interior Ministry official said only that the minister had been named in a probe.
Qureshi said Tuesday that he believed Siddiqui died of natural causes and said the allegations her family is making are "baseless." Qureshi said he is ready to face any legal proceedings that might result from the investigation.
When asked about his relationship with Siddiqui, Qureshi said: "She was like a sister to me and I had no plans to marry her.
"She was a very pious and religious woman," he added.
Javed Iqbal Cheema, a senior Interior Ministry official, said Qureshi took Siddiqui to an Islamabad hospital Saturday night, where she was pronounced dead.
Cheema said Qureshi has not been arrested, but investigators named him as a suspect in their probe. Ten staff at Qureshi's house are also being questioned, Cheema said.
Qureshiis co-operating with police, Cheema said.
Aninitial examination found no marks on the woman's body, and Cheema saidit is premature to say if there was foul play involved in Siddiqui's death. An autopsy is being done.