ISLAMABAD: The father of Sarah Inam, a Canadian national who was allegedly murdered by her husband in Islamabad around a year ago, on Wednesday ruled out any settlement with the defence, which he also blamed for delays in the conclusion of the case.

“The culprit should be punished. We do not want to discuss any [sort of] compromise. Please don’t spread such rumours,” Inamur Rahim said while speaking to journalists outside a court in Islamabad where a hearing of the murder case was held, Dawn.com reported.

The main accused in the case, Sara’s husband and son of renowned journalist Ayaz Amir, Shahnawaz Amir, is in police custody. He was arrested on September 23 last year for allegedly killing his wife at a farmhouse in Islamabad’s Shahzad Town, only a day after her arrival in the country from Dubai where she had been working.

He was initially remanded to police custody a day after his arrest and the period of his physical remand was extended several times. While his father was discharged from the case, Shahnawaz was later sent on a judicial remand.

His mother Sameena Shah, nominated as co-accused in the case, was granted post-arrest bail in November last year but later on December 5, both Shahnawaz and his mother were indicted in the case.

In January, Dr Bushra Ashraf who conducted Sara’s post-mortem, told an Islamabad court that the victim had multiple fractures on her head.

In July, Shahnawaz’s lawyer completed the cross-examination of Sarah’s father, Inamur Rahim, and her uncle Ikramur Rahim.

Speaking to the media, Inamur Rahim also complained that the defence lawyer would often not attend the hearings due to which the proceedings were being delayed, adding that “political reasons” also contributed to the delay.

However, he expressed satisfaction with the court’s proceedings.

Earlier, sessions judge Azam Khan presided over the murder case’s hearing, where Shahnawaz was presented before the court. Inamur Rahim and Shahnawaz’s father, Ayaz, were present as well.

Prosecution lawyer Rao Abdul Raheem and defence counsel Basharatullah also appeared before the court.

However, Shahzad Town Station House Officer (SHO) Nawazish Ali Khan, on whose complaint the case was filed and who was a witness in the case, did not appear.

The prosecution lawyer informed the court that the SHO could not appear due to ill health. Subsequently, the hearing was adjourned till September 21.

In September, the police had become a complainant in the case, with a first information report (FIR) registered for the murder on the complaint of Shahzad Town SHO at the Chak Shahzad police station, initially under Section 302 (punishment for murder) of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC).

Later, the police added Section 109 (punishment for abetment if the act abetted is committed in consequence and where no express provision is made for its punishment) of the PPC to the FIR and initiated proceedings against Shahnawaz’s parents, Sameena and senior journalist Ayaz Amir.

The development came after Sarah’s uncle filed an application with the police, alleging that Shahnawaz had murdered Sara in connivance with his parents.

According to the FIR, SHO Khan was present on Park Road near Chattha Bakhtawar when he got the information about the murder.

The FIR stated that when the police team reached the farmhouse where the murder had taken place, they were received by the mother of the main suspect who told them that her son had “murdered his wife during a scuffle”.

As per the FIR, she informed the police that her son was still present in the house. The police managed to enter the house and detained the suspect, it claimed, adding that the suspect’s hands were “soaked in blood” at the time of the arrest.

During the inquiry, the man identified himself as Shahnawaz Amir and told the police that he had murdered his wife with a dumbbell and hid her body in a bathtub in the bathroom, it claimed.

The police recovered the body on his information, the FIR said, adding that a wound was found on the head of the deceased. The police team also recovered the murder weapon from the house which was “hidden under a bed”, it added.

Subsequently, the body was moved to the Poly Clinic for autopsy and the murder weapon and Shahnawaz’s shirt were sent for a forensic audit.

Published in Dawn, September 14th, 2023

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