A week after the gruesome murder of Noor Mukadam in Islamabad — an incident that has sparked national outcry over violence against women in Pakistan — the Jaffer family has issued a statement condemning the actions of primary suspect, Zahir Zakir Jaffer.
"The Jaffer family extends its deepest condolences to the family and loved ones of Noor Mukadam. We pray her soul rests in eternal peace. We know that no amount of time will bring back the joy you have lost nor ease your pain," the statement said.
"Our shock and grief at this horrific act has led to a prolonged silence that we very much regret. However, we categorically condemn this atrocity and forever denounce Zahir and his actions," it said.
Noor, 27, daughter of former ambassador Shaukat Mukadam, was found murdered at a residence in Islamabad's upscale Sector F-7/4 on July 20.
A first information report (FIR) was registered later the same day against Zahir, who was arrested from the site of the murder, under Section 302 (premeditated murder) of the Pakistan Penal Code on the complaint of the victim's father.
On July 25, police added four more sections of the Pakistan Penal Code, mainly related to abetment and concealing evidence, in the FIR and arrested Zahir's parents as well as the family guards.
Therapy works refutes 'false allegations'
Therapy Works, a counselling and psychotherapy service, on Tuesday issued a statement against the "baseless and false allegations" it said were being levelled against in the aftermath of Noor's murder.
The organisation came under public scrutiny as the murder investigation unfolded and it was revealed that Zahir was associated with it. Whether he was authorised to work as a therapist by the service has yet to be ascertained by investigators.
"We are being subjected to unfounded vitriol, and baseless and false allegations are being made against us in the media," Therapy Works said in the statement shared on its Facebook page. It said the allegations had caused "extreme distress" to its students, patients and staff members.
It clarified that no staff of Therapy Works had been detained or arrested as part of the investigation. "Our international credentials/accreditations have already been submitted to concerned authorities and are available to our students for perusal," it added.
The statement said Noor's murder had "shaken the whole nation to its very core", and expressed support for the victim's family.
"We will spare no effort to facilitate the investigation of this heinous crime so that the culprits are punished as per law," it said, adding, however, that Therapy Works deemed it "inappropriate" to comment on any aspect of the case till the investigation was completed.
"We have been made aware that any disclosure of facts prior to the conclusion of the investigation would only result in prejudicing the case. We will be issuing a detailed statement as soon as the situation permits," it said.
The service further said it had collected all "defamatory accusations made in the media against us" and vowed to take legal action against the persons who it said had falsely defamed it.