Noor Mukadam’s father calls for death penalty for his daughter’s killer

ISLAMABAD: Noor Mukadam’s father, Shaukat Ali Mukadam, on Saturday asked the Magistrate’s Court to impose an exemplary sentence on Zahir Jaffer for the gruesome murder of his daughter.

Mr. Mukadam, a former diplomat, was testifying before Additional District and Sessions Judge (ADSJ) Atta Rabbani.

Noor, 27, was found murdered and beheaded at the residence of Zahir Jaffer at F-7/4, Islamabad on July 20, 2021.

An FIR was registered the same day against Zahir who was arrested at the murder site under Section 302 (premeditated murder) of the Pakistani Penal Code (PPC) on the complaint of Mr Mukadam.

On October 14, the ADSJ charged Zahir along with 11 other people – his parents, their three domestic workers, including Iftikhar (caretaker), Jan Mohammad (gardener) and Jameel (cook), Therapyworks CEO Tahir Zahoor and employees Amjad, Dilip Kumar, Abdul Haq, Wamiq and Samar Abbas. The murder trial officially began on October 20.

Testifies in court, says Zahir Jaffer killed Noor without justification

Testifying in court, Mr Mukadam said he had no personal enmity with anyone and that Zahir Jaffer had killed his daughter without justification, for which he could be convicted and sentenced to death.

Recalling the details of the fateful day Noor was murdered, Mr Mukadam said he and his wife left for some chores on July 19 and when he returned to their home, Noor was not there. This prompted them to call her but Noor’s cell phone was off.

According to the father, his daughter finally took the call and told him that she was going to Lahore with her friends for a few days, asking her parents not to worry.

He went on to say that Zahir called him on two numbers in the afternoon and said Noor was not with him.

However, around 10 p.m. he received a call from the Kohsar police station informing him that his daughter had been killed.

He arrived at the police station and was taken to a house that belonged to Zahir. When he entered he found that Noor “had been brutally murdered and beheaded”.

He said he identified Noor’s body and gave his signed statement to ASI Zubair Mazhar, then signed a cause of death report.

Mr Mukadam added that he handed over Noor’s body to the police for an autopsy on July 21.

He recalled that on July 23 he was called by police as part of the investigation and recovery of Noor’s cellphone. When he went to Kohsar police station the next day during Zahir’s interrogation, the defendant revealed that he had called Noor on July 18 and confiscated her mobile phone before killing her. While visiting Zahir’s residence, the phone was found in a cupboard, Mr Mukadam said in court.

Zahir’s father’s lawyer, Basharatullah Khan, also cross-examined Mr Mukadam.

He asked her to confirm if it was customary for Noor to leave their house without informing them. He also asked about where he had searched Noor and whether he had provided the names of his friends during the investigation.

“No, I didn’t name any friends and I didn’t search [for Noor] after the phone call,” Mr. Mukadam replied.

Counsel for Therapyworks owner Tahir Zahoor Akram Qureshi also cross-examined the father of the deceased.

Mr Mukadam said he saw the CCTV footage on the night of July 20 and the morning of July 21. He said he did not know any of the other defendants other than the Jaffer family and did not have their identification parade conducted.

The rest of the case has been adjourned until January 17.

Posted in Dawn, January 16, 2022