July 21, 2021: Noor Mukaddam, daughter of a former Pakistani Ambassador, was tortured and beheaded at the hands of Zahir Jaffar, in Islamabad.
Noor was the youngest of three siblings, and the baby of the household. Her death left everyone grieving and in a cold blanket of pain, sorrow – and most of all, fear. An Instagram account was started by her friend which is to remind people how beautiful of a soul Noor had, who was robbed of her right to live.
The incident left the social media shocked and in chaos. Many celebrities and civilians made official statements and tweeted in favor of the departed soul.
The hashtags change but the barbarism remains the same. No legal conclusions to date. How many more women will be murdered before justice is finally served?
Rest In Peace, Noor Mukadam. We fail yet again to protect our women and children. pic.twitter.com/DG2KfZYOz3
— Faysal Quraishi (@faysalquraishi) July 21, 2021
While Faysal Qureshi empathized with the women, many of the civilians were just too exhausted to deal with a situation like this with patience. Mashal Khan tweeted:
“Noor Mukaddam was murdered on 21st July 2021! Facts are screaming out loud that Zahir Jaffer murdered her! It’s 11th September 2021, and no idea what the justice system of Pakistan is trying to figure out!”
The case was the talk of the country and continues to be, due to the extreme barbarism shown by a man, who was expected to be working for a better cause. Hiding under the cloak of education and elitism, Zahir has given the people of the country more reasons to not trust the people who come from privilege.
Many people now say, “Zahir Jaffar is not an animal lurking in the dark, he is in every man who thinks this incident was Noor’s fault. Every man who would rather control his daughters and sisters than teaching his sons and brothers.”
The preliminary investigations suggest that the duo was in contact; however, Noor was reluctant to be associated with Zahir anymore. It is said, the murder had a series of events leading up to it. As per reports, Noor arrived at the culprit’s resident and was held captive for the next two days. She was not allowed to contact anyone, or use her phone at all, said the police.
It is reported that while Noor was cut off from the world, Zahir had talked to his mother multiple times on the same day. The talk-time was estimated to be around 70 minutes.
Police claims, Zahir tortured Noor, and she tried to escape six times, which were all in vain since everyone who was at the scene refused to come to her aid. After Zahir successfully beheaded her, a team from Therapy Works reached the crime scene, following the orders of Asmat Adamjee, Zahir Jaffar’s mother.
The initial plan for the team was to declare the murderer as mentally unfit, to protect him from the courts. However, it was only when Zahir attacked a team member, the police were involved.
Prior to Noor’s death, it has come to light that the bond she shared with her mother was exemplary. Her mother said:
“My daughter has gone to Allah; my world is over. She was an angel and her killer must receive hell for what he did.”
Noor’s sister also made a statement while talking to the press, “Our family is shattered and has been left in shock. Justice must prevail.”
After the Jaffar’s were arrested, Zahir made the claim of being a US citizen, which sent the media in yet another uproar. Due to this, the US Embassy was approached:
In a foreign country, U.S. citizens are subject to that country’s laws. When Americans are arrested abroad, the Embassy can check on their well-being and provide a list of lawyers, but cannot provide legal advice, participate in court proceedings or effect their release.
— U.S. Embassy Islamabad (@usembislamabad) July 27, 2021
The tweet settled the masses greatly, for it revealed that the culprit will not be backed up by anyone.
In late August, the police submitted an interim challan on the case. It had Zahir Jaffar’s confession of killing Noor Mukaddam because she had refused to accept his marriage proposal.
He claimed, “When she said no to marrying me, I locked her in a room and told the guard to not let anyone leave or enter.” Following this, he began torturing her. Post-death, he made a call to his father, where he consoled him and told him not to panic since there were people from Therapy Works on their way to take care of the body.
His lawyers argued that he was a victim of mental illness. The claim was shot down when multiple psychiatrists’ reports deemed him perfectly fit for court trials.
The second challan was submitted on September 9, to Additional District and Sessions Judge Atta Rabbani. It had the medical reports that confirmed that the culprit raped Noor before he murdered her in cold blood. The challan also stated that Noor tried to escape, but the gardener and the security guard intervened.
The injured worker from Therapy Works was also mentioned in the challan for lying to the hospital about his condition.
A 9mm pistol, a knuckleduster, laptops, bloody clothes, fingerprints, victim’s phone, and medical reports have been cited as the evidence found.
Further, into the case, CCTV footage of the crime scene was discovered. The recording showed Noor Mukaddam trying to flee from her death. She undertook the riskiest measures to save herself, from screaming for help to jumping off the balcony of the first floor of the Jaffar residence into the garden.
The footage follows on to show how Noor desperately locked herself in the guard’s room, but alas, Zahir had made up his mind to put an end to her life.
Zakir Jaffar, the father of the culprit, pleaded for bail. Once before, to say they had nothing to do with their son’s crime, and once now for the entire family. Islamabad High Court’s Justice Aamer Farooq heard his bail plea on Monday. The court issued a notice for the prosecution department and the opposite parties, while the hearing went on.
The IHC rejected the plea for bail for the culprit and his parents; however, it was granted to the CEO of Therapy Works and five of the company’s employees.
Due to this, Noor Mukaddam’s father, Shaukat Ali Mukaddam, went up to the IHC and requested cancellation for the bail granted to the people involved in his daughter’s murder. His appeal claims that the court did not follow the rules set by the Supreme Court and that he has been threatened by the people who are now roaming the streets of Islamabad freely.
He argues if this granted bail is not revoked, he and his family could be in grave danger.
Recently, the Jaffar’s were taken to court and it was suspected that the family hadn’t seen each other in over two months. Although the behavior they displayed made it look like just another get-together.
This was the same hearing when Asmat Adamjee lashed out at the journalists around herself and her family for asking questions about the case her own son got them into. The police are said to have banned the media personnel from getting inside the courtroom as well.
Now, this raises significant questions on the treatment of the Jaffar’s by the capital police, since no one can stop the media from covering the proceedings of an open courtroom.
As of recently, the Noor Mukaddam case has been transferred to a special court for the trial to be fast-paced and so the justice may prevail for the departed soul and her family can finally be at peace.
— Mubashir Zaidi (@Xadeejournalist) September 9, 2021
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