Friday, July 30, 2021

Noor Mukadam murder — a timeline of events

Noor Mukadam was brutally murdered in the federal capital on July 20 in Islamabad, sparking a nationwide outcry and call for justice

Noor Mukadam. —
Noor Mukadam. —

The murder of Noor Mukadam, daughter of a former ambassador of Pakistan, has sparked outrage in Pakistan.

Noor, 27, was brutally murdered in the federal capital on July 20 in the city's F-7 area.

Responding to a distress call regarding her murder, Islamabad police had arrested Zahir Jaffer, the alleged murderer, on the same night from his house where, according to investigators, he had allegedly committed the crime.

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


July 7 — Zahir books ticket to US

Investigations by Geo News show that Zahir Jaffer had planned to leave the country.

A copy of a plane ticket obtained by Geo News shows that Zahir had booked a one-way flight for New York on July 7. 

The flight was scheduled for 3:50am on July 19.

July 18 — Zahir arranges taxi to go to airport later that night, Noor arrives at house


On the afternoon of July 18, Zahir made arrangements for a taxi service to take him to the airport the following night, when his flight was scheduled for departure.

The booking was made at 12:59pm. He was told he would be charged Rs2,000 for the trip.


Later that day, while Noor was at her home in Naval Anchorage, Islamabad, she received a call from Zahir.

Phone records show he was in the surroundings of the Ali Plaza in Islamabad’s Blue Area at the time.

Noor left her home at around 9:05pm for Zakir's house. She sent him two text messages enquiring about his whereabouts while she was crossing Abbas Plaza in Islamabad at 9:45pm.


Noor arrived at Jaffer House, situated in Sector F-7/4, Islamabad, at around 10pm on July 18, 2021.

Investigation team sources reveal that around or after her arrival, Zahir made multiple contacts with the travel agency which had booked his ticket. 

Read: Zahir Jaffer's travel plans, one night prior to murder, come to light

The sources quoted Zahir as asking the agent: "What will happen if I don't travel on the booking date?"

Zahir was told that his ticket will be "wasted".

At this, Zahir asked: "I am informing you three hours in advance. Why would it be wasted?"

The travel agent responded saying that three hours ahead of the flight, "all control goes to the airport", but he will "try to get it cancelled".

Zahir then asked how his booking would be impacted if he were to travel 10 days later.

"With your ticket cancelled, you will have to pay the difference in rates that are sure to occur by then," the agent replied.

Upon being told this, Zahir told the agent he would get back to them in a while.

Zahir contacted the travel agent a further five times, the sources said, and later sent an SMS saying that he has decided to travel to the US.


The taxi for the airport arrived at 11pm, July 18, and the driver subsequently called Zahir at 11:15pm, upon which he was told to wait.

The driver called Zahir again at 11:36pm and was once more told to wait a bit.

July 19 — Zahir leaves for airport with 'barefooted' Noor, only to return home shortly


Zahir told the taxi driver to return as he no longer plans on going to the airport. 

He also paid Rs1,000 to the taxi driver through his gatekeeper.


The driver called Zahir again at 1:40am saying that since he had been paid Rs1,000, he can come pick him up later in case he changes his mind.

Zahir told him he may come, the sources said.

They said that the taxi returned at 2am to take Zahir to the airport.


Zahir came out of his house with Noor, who was barefooted.

According to the sources, both got into the taxi and the vehicle left at 2:20am. 

It was headed for the airport when, all of a sudden, at the Kulsoom underpass, Zahir instructed the driver to turn back home. 

When the driver asked what the matter was, Zahir said that they are "late" and "will not be able to reach on time".


Sources said that the taxi driver turned the car around and dropped them both back home at around 2:35am.

The driver said he saw Zahir taking Noor inside the house, along with his luggage, the sources added.

The sources said that the driver had noticed that Noor was silent throughout the entire trip while Zahir continued to speak to her.

Noor Mukadam. — Gofundme
Noor Mukadam. — Gofundme


Zahir made another call at 3:58am to his travel agent, which was not received, the sources said.


Nearly 17 hours later, there were signs of trouble at Jaffer House around 11pm on the night of July 19. 

Police’s preliminary findings suggest Zahir had a fight with Noor soon after she received a series of texts from her parents. 

July 20 — The day Noor was murdered and Zahir was arrested

Retired ambassador Shaukat Mukadam, Noor's father, sent her three text messages past midnight asking her her "whereabouts and wellbeing".

Noor never responded to these texts.

Police believe Zahir had withheld the phone from Noor and she was not allowed to use the device. 

Her mother sent her a text after 1am, to which she did not respond either. 

The father sent her two texts again but Noor never replied to her parents' texts the whole night. 


Noor's mother tried to contact her through voice/text messages. Meanwhile, two of her family friends tried to call her but received no response till 5:48am in the morning.


Noor managed to send a voice message to her mother from Zahir's house at 10:43am. This was to be the last message she sent before her murder. The contents of this message have not been revealed yet.


Soon after she managed to send the message, Zahir reportedly snatched her phone and called her mother three times at around 10:56am using his own phone. 

Zahir reportedly spoke to Noor's mother for some 20 minutes, telling her that "Noor is not here at my house".


From 11am to 7:30pm on July 20, Noor was held in captivity.


Zahir spoke to his father at 1:44pm for around 30 minutes.


He once more called his father at 2:14pm, only to speak for nine seconds this time.

He did not make any more calls, until 6:35pm.


Zahir again called his father for roughly two minutes.


He once more called his father, this time speaking to him for around a minute-and-a-half.


Zahir spoke to his father for a third time that evening, for just over four minutes.


A few minutes later, at 6:53pm, he called a friend and spoke to him for just over a minute.


He called his friend again at 7:09pm and spoke to him for just under a minute.

He did not make any other calls until 7:29pm.

7:10pm – 7:35pm

Noor Mukadam jumped off a balcony on the first floor and rushed towards the main gate. Meanwhile, Zahir Jaffer also came out from the house and locked her in the guard's cabin, snatched her mobile phone and dragged her inside the bungalow.

It is believed by police investigators that Noor was murdered after this encounter, between 7:10 and 7:30pm. An autopsy report is awaited to confirm this.

What is known is that she was brutally tortured and finally beheaded.

Zahir Jaffer, while being brought to court, on July 26, 2021. — Twitter
Zahir Jaffer, while being brought to court, on July 26, 2021. — Twitter

Attempts to 'wriggle free of situation'

According to the police, Zahir was "completely aware of his actions" and was "cunningly trying to wriggle free of the situation" and so he made several calls in a desperate attempt to do so, in the moments after he allegedly murdered Noor.


Zahir spoke to his father for the last time, at around 7:29pm, a call that lasted 46 seconds.


Right after speaking to his father, Zahir called his father's friend, at 7:30pm, for a conversation that lasted 5 minutes and 46 seconds.

"I am in a terrible fix. Please help me. Come to my house immediately," Zahir reportedly told his father's friend.

This individual's identity has not yet been disclosed by police.

The father's friend asked him what had happened and how grave the situation is.

Zahid responded by saying: "Robbers have entered our house. I am alone. Please come quickly."

The father's friend said he will "try to do something".

Also read: Probe reveals Zahir Jaffer made several calls after murder 'to wriggle free of situation'

In the meanwhile, the father's friend, suspecting foul play, called up Zakir Jaffer, Zahir's father.

"What is going on with your son? Something does not seem right. He has never called me before. I do not even have his number saved on my phone," the father's friend said.

He asked Zakir to go check up on his son. "I feel like he has gotten himself into a sticky situation," he said.

Citizens hold placards during a demonstration in Lahore on July 24, 2021, against the brutal killing of Noor Mukadam, the daughter of former Pakistan envoy to South Korea, in the federal capital earlier this week. — AFP
Citizens hold placards during a demonstration in Lahore on July 24, 2021, against the brutal killing of Noor Mukadam, the daughter of former Pakistan envoy to South Korea, in the federal capital earlier this week. — AFP

The sources said that after speaking to his friend, Zahir's father, Zakir, called Therapy Works with a 'strange' request. 

He said: "Quickly go to the house. Zahir is trying to 'solicit' a girl."

At this, Dr Tahir, who had received the call, asked him what he means by Zahir "soliciting a girl".

"Dr Tahir, you are a smart man. I'm sure you understand what I mean. Please go quickly," Zakir replied by saying.

According to the sources, in the meanwhile, Zahir making calls to his friends, "making one excuse or the other" for them to come over.

Sources said he told some friends that "robbers" had entered his house, while others were told he has been "attacked".

A final call for help was made to a female friend.

"This is a life or death situation. Please come quickly and bring your guards with you," he told her.

"But what is the matter? Tell me something at least," she said.

Zahir repeated that "it is a life or death situation" and asked her once more to come quickly, along with her guards.

"But you must tell me what is going on," she insisted.

"Dr Tahir has come to inject me with something. My mother and the doctor want me to get admitted to Therapy Works," he is said to have replied.

A candle light vigil held in the federal capital for Noor Mukadam following her murder. Photo: Twitter
A candle light vigil held in the federal capital for Noor Mukadam following her murder. Photo: Twitter


Between 7:36-8:15pm, a team from Therapy Works, a counselling and rehabilitation center, arrived at the Jaffer residence after receiving a call from Zahir’s father.

Police arrived later at the scene and arrested the suspect for murder.

A report published in daily Dawn cited Islamabad SSP (Investigation) Ataur Rehman as saying that before the police’s arrival, the suspect had attacked the team that had arrived from Therapy Works. He added that when police arrived, they found Zahir tied up with ropes.