Pakistani shop owners brother admits mixing poison in sweets that killed 31

Sibling rivalry is said to have prompted a shop owners brother to lace sweets with pesticide. The toxic sweets were consumed by unsuspecting guests at a party held to celebrate the birth of a child

The younger brother of a sweet shop owner in Pakistan’s eastern city of Layyah has reportedly confessed that he mixed pesticide in the batter used to make the sweets, that killed 31, including eight from a family.

The case was resolved when the accused Khalid Mehmood, admitted to have spike the material used to make sweets sold in his brother Tariq Mahmood’s shop.

In his confession recorded before a magistrate, Khalid is reported to have said he was angry after a spat with his elder brother, police said. They also claimed to have recovered the pesticide bottle.

The sweets were ordered by Umar Hayat to celebrate the birth of his grandson on 20 April. Five guests died on the spot, while others who fell unconscious were rushed to different health centres.

Layyah is a small city in Punjab province and is governed by prime minister Nawaz Sharif’s brother Shahbaz Sharif.

The mysterious poisoning case had foxed authorities. Opposition parties had alleged that several lives could have been saved if they had got timely medical attention. They blamed chief minister Shahbaz Sharif for the poor facilities at government health centres.