By Sarvat Hossein
The gruesome nature of Noor Mukadam‘s murder has sparked strong condemnation and public outrage in Pakistan. As reported by The Washington Post, ‘The name Noor Mukadam has ricocheted through the Pakistani news and social media’.
The victim was a 27-year-old daughter of former diplomat Mr Shoukat Mukadam. She was tortured with a knuckleduster before being shot with a pistol and decapitated by her alleged murderer.
Zahir Jaffar, the alleged killer, is the son of the CEO of a leading construction company in Islamabad. A source revealed that she was killed following her breakup with the accused, who, apparently could not cope with the refusal. Zahir Jaffar is believed to be a drug addict who apparently has serious psychological issues. He received therapy and counselling from his family business called Therapy Works, as per the police investigates. Later, he had been delivering lectures himself, as a therapist.
This case is under heavy scrutiny from all directions. Publicly, it has been speculated that Zahir Jaffar’s family would influence the investigations. The footage of CCTV of this case has not been released to the public at large, nor the media yet.
The outcome of this case may hugely influence the perception of the fairness of the judicial system of Pakistan. The Prime Minister Imran Khan ordered, ‘Make no concessions’ whilst probing the murder and he emphasized the importance of the delivery of justice.
Ms Fatima Bhutto characterized Noor’s murder as, ‘a test for a system that too easily bends to power and influence’.
There are countless questions floating around in the minds of many about this case due to its horrific nature. Why did Noor end up in a compromised relationship with a mentally unwell man like Zahir Jaffar, apparently known to be a psychopath? What triggered him to act in this brutal manner? And why Noor, a well-educated, liberal girl from a good family background girl could not split up from Zahir.
Nobody knows the entire truth about what really went wrong between Noor and Zahir which led to the horrific crime.
According to the Women, Peace and Security Index (WPS INDEX), Pakistan is the fourth worst country in the world for women’s welfare, and Pakistan was ranked at 150, with the highest level of discrimination against women in the world, as well as its ranking women as having the ‘lowest financial inclusion’ rate.
Perhaps we ought to also remind ourselves of another recent case, that of Aisha Akram, who was molested and bullied by a mob of nearly 400 men on Independence Day at the national monument, Minar-e- Pakistan.
The powerful perpetrator suspect is a dual national, holding American and Pakistani nationalities. The US Embassy in Islamabad tweeted, ‘In a foreign country, US citizens are subject to that country’s laws’.
One might wonder if Zahir Jaffar will get the appropriate punishment for his brutal crime. On the face of it, and in Pakistan, the powerful invariably escape the penalties that the underprivileged face.
The world is watching!