Protest outside IHC demands retribution for Noor Mukadam's brutal murder

Published September 13, 2021
Friends of slain Noor Mukadam stage a protest outside the Islamabad High Court on Monday. — Photo by author
Friends of slain Noor Mukadam stage a protest outside the Islamabad High Court on Monday. — Photo by author

A protest was held against the killing of Noor Mukadam — daughter of former Pakistani diplomat Shaukat Mukadam — outside the Islamabad High Court on Monday with demonstrators demanding justice.

The protest demonstration was staged by friends of Noor, who converged outside the IHC as the court took up the post-arrest bail petitions of the parents of Zahir Jaffer — the prime suspect in Noor Mukadam's killing.

The protesters, holding placards seeking justice for Noor, urged the court to not grant bail to Zahir’s parents as they had allegedly supported him.

Case hearing

Meanwhile, Justice Amer Farooq of the IHC conducted a hearing on the post-arrest bail pleas of the key suspect’s parents — Zakir Jaffer and Asmat Zakir Jaffer — and issued notices to authorities concerned before adjourning the hearing till Sep 15.

Earlier during the proceedings, Justice Farooq directed the counsel of Noor's family, Advocate Shah Khawar, to submit a power of attorney today. The counsel assured the court he would submit the document.

Khawar told the court that the bail cancellation pleas for Therapyworks — a counselling and psychotherapy service — employees were also pending, saying the court could also take up the petition.

Justice Farooq remarked that the rules for bail cancellation and approval were different, hence “we will take up those petitions separately.”

The employees of Therapyworks were arrested on Aug 14 by investigators over their alleged involvement in trying to rescue the prime suspect by taking him from the house before the police arrived. They were granted bail on Aug 23, which was challenged by Noor's father on Aug 26.

Zahir’s parents were taken into custody on July 25 following the arrest of their son for allegedly concealing the material facts from the investigation team. Subsequently, they had approached a district and sessions court for bail.

The court had on Aug 5 dismissed the post-arrest bail applications of Zahir Jaffer’s parents and observed that they abetted the murder of Noor and attempted to conceal material evidence.

The investigators, in a challan submitted to the sessions court on Sep 9, said Noor tried to escape twice from the illegal detention of Zahir. However, due to the collusion of the security guard and a gardener, she could not manage to get herself free.

According to the police, on the day of the incident, July 20, Zahir had contacted his father, who was in Karachi, on phone four times and the latter knew about the illegal detention and the situation at their home.

But his parents never informed the police, and even after their son beheaded the girl, his father Zakir Jaffer tried to relax the murderer and told him: “You need not worry, I can handle this, I am sending people to rescue you and to dispose of the dead body,” said the challan.

The investigators say in order to conceal the evidence and the body of the deceased, Zakir Jaffer had called five Therapyworks employees to his F-7/4 residence — the crime scene.

According to them, Zahir's parents and the therapy workers tried to conceal the crime and attempted to destroy the evidence.

The case

Noor, 27, daughter of former Pakistani diplomat 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 Jaffer, 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.

In his complaint, Shaukat Mukadam had stated that he had gone to Rawalpindi on July 19 to buy a goat for Eidul Azha, while his wife had gone out to pick up clothes from her tailor. When he had returned home in the evening, the couple found their daughter Noor absent from their house in Islamabad.

They had found her cellphone number to be switched off, and started a search for her. Sometime later, Noor had called her parents to inform them that she was travelling to Lahore with some friends and would return in a day or two, according to the FIR, a copy of which is available with Dawn.com.

The complainant said he had later received a call from the suspect, son of Zakir Jaffer, whose family were the ex-diplomat's acquaintances. The suspect had informed Shaukat that Noor was not with him, the FIR said.

At around 10pm on July 20, the victim's father had received a call from Kohsar police station, informing him that Noor had been murdered.

Police had subsequently taken the complainant to Zahir's house in Sector F-7/4 where he discovered that his "daughter has been brutally murdered with a sharp-edged weapon and beheaded", according to the FIR.

Mukadam, who identified his daughter's body, has sought the maximum punishment under the law against Zahir for allegedly murdering his daughter.

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