Victim Noor Mukadam’s father says case is open-and-shut, and thanks government for taking notice of its progress
Police in Islamabad on Sunday arrested the parents of Zahir Jaffer, suspected of murdering former diplomat Shaukat Mukadam’s daughter Noor Mukadam, with a local court approving two-day physical remand of both for investigation.
“Sealing orders of Therapy works issued. Parents of murderer Zahir Jaffar also arrested,” Islamabad Deputy Commissioner Muhammed Hamza Shafqaat wrote on Twitter. Therapy Works is a drug rehabilitation center where Jaffer reportedly received treatment in the past, and has been linked to the case due to a team from them reaching the scene of the crime ahead of police.
According to police, the parents of the suspect have been arrested on charges of attempting to conceal the murder. They said that two employees of Therapy Works had also been taken into custody.
A lawyer for the family claimed that Jaffer’s parents had both secured pre-arrest bail and vowed to register a case against police for ignoring the court’s orders in taking them into custody.
Noor, 27, was murdered in the federal capital on Tuesday night, with the killer beheading her body prior to the police reaching the scene. The gruesome and heinous nature of the incident has provoked nationwide outrage, with protesters taking to the streets over the weekend and #JusticeforNoor becoming a top trend on Twitter.
During court proceedings on Sunday, the chief investigating officer said the suspect had told his parents that Noor had refused his marriage proposal. Noor “tried jumping through a window but he dragged her inside after which he tortured and killed her,” the officer said, adding that this had been witnessed by both the family’s watchman and house-help but they had failed to inform the police. “Police reached the site after a neighbor called them,” he said.
Following the grant of physical remand, the suspect’s father—well-known CEO Zakir Jaffer—told media that he condemned the incident. “I would like justice to prevail in this case. My sympathies are with the parents of the girl,” he added.
A day earlier, police presented suspect Jaffer in the court of Duty Magistrate Sohaib Bilal Ranjha after the completion of three-day physical remand. During proceedings, they said that Jaffer had been arrested from the site of the murder and a knife that was believed to the murder weapon had also been recovered.
Investigators, speaking on condition of anonymity, have claimed that the suspect had planned this crime in advance, adding that he had hinted of his plans to friends. Jaffer, who is a dual U.S.-Pakistani national, they said, had pre-booked a flight to the U.S., set to depart a few days after the murder, suggesting he was planning to flee the country. Police have already requested that his name be placed on the Exit Control List to ensure he is not able to flee the country.
They said that the suspect had called Noor and urged her to come to his house, directing her to switch her phone off after she did so. After her parents were unable to contact her, they reached out to her friends, several of whom visited Jaffer’s house to inquire if she were there. The watchman has told police that there was an argument between Noor’s friends and Jaffer, with him claiming he had not seen her and refusing to allow them entry into his house.
On Saturday, Noor’s father addressed the media in a press conference and thanked the federal government for taking notice of the case. “This is not a case where the suspect escaped. He was caught and caught with a weapon,” Mukadam said.
Stressing that the suspect did not have any “mental” disabilities—as has been suggested by his family—he pointed out that Jaffer had been employed as the director of a company. “If such a person was employed … then his parents, too, must be made part of the investigation,” he added.
“My daughter was a very sweet and kind-hearted girl. Our family has been crying badly since [her murder],” he said, adding that he had served Pakistan as an ambassador and wanted justice for his daughter. “This is a clear-cut case. The killer is standing right before us,” he said.