A former Pakistani cabinet minister was arrested Friday after a court cancelled his bail in connection with the death of a Canadian woman at their shared home in Islamabad.


Shahid Jamil Qureshi, seen holding his letter of resignation from Pakistan's cabinet, is being questioned on the death of Toronto-area resident Kafila Siddiqui. ((Anjum Naveed/Associated Press))

Shahid Jamil Qureshi has been under investigation since he took the body of Kafila Siddiqui to hospital on June 9.

Qureshi resigned as minister of state for communication three days later. He has been co-operating with the investigation and has denied any wrongdoing.

On Friday, Qureshi's bail was revoked. A judge granted a police request for Qureshi's arrest after detectives told a city court they believed Siddiqui had been slain, senior police official Ghulam Mohammed Baqir said.

Qureshi was led away handcuffed from the court for further questioning Baqir said. The man will be held for at least four days. There was no word on whether charges would be laid.

"There was substantial proof presented in front of the court that the accused was responsible for the murder of my wife," Siddiqui's husband Suleman Qaiser told the CBC from Islamabad. Qaiser is in Islamabad to participate in the investigation into his wife's death.

"I felt partially vindicated when I saw a powerful, untouchable sitting minister, ex-minister rather, arrested," Qaiser said. "At least he is behind bars and that brings some relief to the family."

Pakistani newspapers have reported that relatives of Siddiqui, a Toronto-area resident, have accused Qureshi of holding her against her will at the house. It was also reported that the family feared the former cabinet minister was responsible for her death.

Qureshi has said he believes Siddiqui died of natural causes and that allegations from her family were "baseless."

Officials say an initial examination of the body found no suspicious marks. Qaiser says that autopsy was flawed.

"It was tampered right from the beginning," he said. "There are flaws in the autopsy report … it's not conclusive."

He said he has consulted with an American expert, who has confirmed autopsy flaws in the case in an eight-page report.

Investigators are awaiting the results of the second autopsy.

"My hopes are with Canadian intervention, with the second autopsy, I hope we can find some proof there," Qaiser said.

With files from the Canadian Press