Dubai: The grisly murder and beaheading of an ex-diplomat’s daughter has sent shockwaves across Pakistan and the country's social media scene. Noor Mukadam, 27, was reportedly “shot and slaughtered” in an upscale residential area of Islamabad during the Eid holidays.
Police said that the suspect, identified as Zahir Zakir, has been taken into custody. Zakir is reportedly a US citizen of Pakistani origin. Police found the victim’s body in the suspect’s house on Tuesday. Noor Mukadam was the daughter of former foreign service official Shaukat Mukadam, who served as Pakistan’s ambassador to South Korea and Kazakhstan.
Pakistan Foreign Office spokesperson Zahid Hafeez Chaudhry condemned the crime and expressed condolences to the family in a tweet. “Deeply saddened by the murder of the daughter of a senior colleague and former Ambassador of Pakistan. Heartfelt condolences to the bereaved family, and I hope the perpetrator of this heinous crime will be brought to justice,” Hafeez said on his Twitter handle.
Geo News reported that Islamabad police have registered a case against the accused and an investigation is underway. Police said Noor was “slaughtered” after being shot. Another person was also injured in the incident.
Zakir, known as a “friend” of the victim, was arrested over his alleged involvement in the murder. “The alleged killer is a son of a leading businessman of the country,” the newspaper Dawn reported.
Police obtained a three-day remand of the suspect from a local court, while officials said they were investigating the suspect’s motive for the crime.
FIR registered: Timeline
A first information report (FIR) was registered against Zahir under Section 302 (premeditated murder) of the Pakistan Penal Code upon the complaint of the victim’s father late on Tuesday.
In his complaint, Shaukat Mukadam stated that he had gone to Rawalpindi on July 19 to buy a goat for Eid Al Adha, while his wife had gone out to pick up clothes from her tailor. When he returned home in the evening, the couple found their daughter Noor absent from their house in Islamabad.
Her cell phone number was switched off. The family then started a search. Sometime later, the victim called her parents to inform them that she was travelling to Lahore with some friends and would return “in a day or two”, according to the FIR.
On Tuesday afternoon, the father said he received a call from Zahir, son of Zakir Jaffer, whose family were the ex-diplomat’s acquaintances.
Zahir informed Mukadam that Noor was not with him, the FIR stated.
At around 10pm the same day, the victim’s father received a call from Kohsar police station, informing him that Noor had been murdered.
Police subsequently took the father to Zahir’s house, in Sector F-7/4, where he discovered that his “daughter has been brutally murdered with a sharp-edged weapon and (was) beheaded,” according to the FIR.
Mukadam, who identified his daughter’s body, sought the maximum punishment under the law against the suspect.
The grisly murder of the woman sparked fresh debate about the safety of women in the federal capital. The hashtag #JusticeForNoor drew tens of thousands of tweets in Pakistan.
In a statement, Women Action Forum has condemned the "barbaric murder and beheading" of Noor Mukadam. "We note with concern the increasing incidents of violence against women recently. We extend our condolences to the family and express solidarity and support for them. We also demand swift justice," the group stated.