Sunday Jul 25 2021
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Noor Mukadam murder: Parents of Zahir Jaffer arrested, say police

Noor Mukadam. — Photo via social media
Noor Mukadam. — Photo via social media

  • Parents of suspect arrested for trying to hide evidence, say police.
  • Therapy Works, the rehab centre where Jaffer is believed to have sought treatment, will be sealed, say police. 

ISLAMABAD: The parents of Zahir Jaffer, the suspect in the murder of former diplomat Shaukat Mukadam's daughter, Noor Mukadam, have been arrested, police said, while the court has approved a two-day physical remand for both.

Meanwhile, orders to seal Therapy Works, the drug rehabilitation centre where Jaffer is believed to have sought treatment, have also been issued.

Taking to Twitter, Deputy Commissioner Islamabad Muhammed Hamza Shafqaat confirmed the news and wrote: "Sealing orders of Therapy works issued. Parents of Murderer Zahir Jaffar also arrested."

The parents of the suspect have been arrested on charges of concealing the crime, the police said.

Noor, 27, was murdered in the federal capital on Tuesday, in the city's F-7 area, according to police.

The gruesome incident has sparked a nationwide campaign seeking justice for her, with #JusticeforNoor becoming a top trend on Twitter.

Court approves 2-day physical remand of Jaffer's parents, two employees

Jaffer's parents and two employees working for them were presented before the court after the arrest and the court approved a two-day physical remand for them.

The family's lawyer Advocate Rizwan Abbasi said a day ago, Jaffer's parents were granted interim bail by the High Court, but the police still arrested them. He said that an FIR will be registered against the police for ignoring the court's order.

In response, the investigating officer said that the police did not receive any such bail orders from the court. 

'Jaffer told parents Noor rejected marriage proposal'

The investigating officer informed the court that the suspect had called his parents to tell them that Noor had refused to marry him. At his residence, Noor "tried jumping through a window but he dragged her inside after which he tortured and killed her", the officer said.

According to the investigating officer, the family's watchman and butler witnessed the incident but did not call the police. "Police reached the site after a neighbour had informed them," he said.

"The arrested suspects gave us a written statement but did not say that they were on interim bail," the investigating officer told the court. 

Suspect's father wants 'justice to prevail'

Speaking to Geo News after the verdict, Zakir Jaffer, the father of the accused, said that he "condemns this incident."

"I would like justice to prevail in this case. My sympathies are with the parents of the girl, he said.

Jaffer said as he knew Mukadam — the woman's father — personally and socially, he extends his condolences to him. "This is a heinous crime and I would like justice to prevail."

When asked how he came to know about the incident, he replied: "That's a long story."

Jaffer's parents stand with Mukadam family: lawyer

The lawyer for the parents of the suspect said "neither were the parents involved in the matter, nor will they put up a defence".

Advocate Rizwan Abbas, talking to Geo News, said the parents of the suspect stand with the Mukadam family and they want justice in the case.

Abbas said Jaffer's father and mother were not "accomplices in any of their son's crimes".

"The parents of the suspect have strongly condemned the murder of Noor and said that whoever is involved in this case should be punished," the lawyer added.

Suspect produced in court after completion of 3-day physical remand

On Saturday, police presented Jaffer in the court of Duty Magistrate Sohaib Bilal Ranjha after the completion of a three-day physical remand. Jaffer was arrested after Noor's father lodged a case against him at the Kohsar police station.

According to the police, Jaffer was arrested from the site of the murder and the murder weapon — a knife — was recovered. A pistol and an iron machete found at the accused's residence had also been seized, police said. The accused's mobile phone was also confiscated.

'Planned murder'

As per sources, the suspect had planned the crime and had taken some of his friends into confidence regarding the plan a few days before the incident.

The suspect, according to the source, called Noor at this residence and told her to switch her phone off. When her parents couldn't contact her, they started inquiring from her friends about her whereabouts. 

When some of Noor's friends went to Jaffer's residence to inquire about the deceased, he denied seeing her. Upon this, Noor's friends had a scuffle with the suspect, sources told the police. 

Suspect an American citizen

A source also told the police that Jaffer was a little concerned about being arrested while he was planning the murder. However, he was confident he will be spared as he holds American citizenship. 

After the murder, the suspect tried fleeing to the United States but was arrested on time. 

It should be noted that Jaffer had previously been deported from the United Kingdom on charges of assaulting a female.

PM asks IGP to 'make no concessions' in probe

On Friday, Prime Minister Imran Khan asked the Inspector General of Police for Islamabad Qazi Jameel-ur-Rehman "not to make any concessions" while probing the murder of Noor.

This was shared by Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Political Communication Shahbaz Gill.

Gill said that the prime minister is "personally monitoring" the case and has asked the IGP for a report.

"The prime minister has ordered that justice be provided to Noor Mukadam's family," the aide said.

"We all have daughters. I would like to ask the Opposition to stand united with us on this front," he added.

He requested the courts to "meet all the requirements of the law" and for the authorities to investigate the crime "on merit".

Gill also spoke of Noor's mother, whom he quoted as saying that her daughter was a "soft-hearted girl" who had been "brutally tortured".

He said that had the police been timely alerted to the killer's actions, "then perhaps her life could have been saved".

The premier's aide said that as the investigation proceeds and things become clearer, "the facts of the case will be shared with the nation".

He said that "Noor can never be brought back, but what can be done is justice".

Gill said that besides the prime minister being personally invested in the outcome of the investigation, Minister for Interior Shaikh Rasheed and Minister for Human Rights Shireen Mazari are also in touch with the police and seeking updates off and on.

"We will not be sharing any details until the police complete their investigation," he said. "Please give some time to the police to complete their probe. Rest assured, justice will be done," the aide said.

'Not a person with mental disability'

Earlier, Noor's father, who was Pakistan's former ambassador to South Korea and Kazakhstan, addressed a press conference and thanked the prime minister, Gill, and Mazari for taking a personal interest in the case.

"This is not a case where the suspect escaped. He was caught and caught with a weapon," Mukadam said.

He said that Jaffer is "not a person with a mental disability".

"If such a person was employed as the director of a company, then his parents, too, must be made part of the investigation," Mukadam had demanded.

"My daughter was a very sweet and kind-hearted girl. Our family has been crying badly since [her murder]," he said.

Mukadam said that he has served the country as an ambassador and only seeks justice.

"This is a clear-cut case. The killer is standing right before us," he said.

The former diplomat said that the murder was "witnessed by the gatekeeper" of the house.

Suspect's name to be added to ECL

Meanwhile, the IGP, following a meeting with the investigation team at the Central Police Office, directed it to approach the concerned agencies to add the name of the suspect to the Exit Control List (ECL).

The police chief also directed the team to obtain his criminal history, if any, from England and the United States.

The meeting was attended by DIG Operation Afzaal Ahmad Kausar, SSP Operation Dr Syed Mustafa Tanveer, SSP Investigation Ata-ur-Rehman, SP City Zone Rana Abdul Wahab, and ASP Kohsar Amna Baig, among other officers.

Briefing the IGP Islamabad about the progress of the case, the head of the investigation team, SSP Investigation Ata-ur-Rehman, said that the statements of the victim's parents, and the suspect's father, besides two security guards, have been recorded.

A forensic team has also provided evidence after their investigation, the police chief was told.

The IGP said that all the evidence obtained from the incident "should be forensic", adding that the Therapy Works team should be approached as part of the probe.

Expressing satisfaction over the investigation thus far, the IGP said that all the requirements of justice should be fulfilled and no pressure or recommendation should be taken into account so that the culprit is awarded exemplary punishment.