The brutal murder of the 28-year-old daughter of former ambassador Shaukat Mukadam, which took place a day before Eid-ul-Adha last year in Posh Sector F-7 of Pakistan’s federal capital Islamabad, has been gaining public attention for the past seven months.
Following the July 20 incident, the trial of the case began in October and ended in four months, and on February 24, the Islamabad District and Sessions Court will deliver a reserved judgment in the case.
This article covers all the events from the incident to the trial.
It was July 19. Former Pakistani Ambassador to Islamabad Shaukat Mukadam along with his wife were busy in preparations two days before each Eid and in this connection he went to the market from his residence in Islamabad for shopping.
When he returned home in the evening, he found that his 28-year-old daughter, Noor Mukadam, was not at home. After no contact with Noor on his mobile, he contacted his daughter’s friends and started searching for Noor Mukadam.
On the morning of July 20, Zahir Jaffar called Noor Mukadam’s parents and told them that he was not with them.
One day before Eid-ul-Adha, at 10 pm on July 20, 2021, Noor Mukadam’s father Shaukat Mukadam was informed by the police that his daughter had been killed. He immediately reached Kohsar police station. From there, the police took him to the house of Zakir Jaffer, a well-known businessman of the country in F-Seven Four, Islamabad, where the decapitated body of Noor Mukadam was identified.
Police had on the spot arrested Zakir Jaffer’s son Zahir Jaffer along with the alleged murder weapon.
Initially, the news made headlines on TV screens and in newspapers as much as the news of a normal crime. But when friends of the victim started raising their voices on social media about this serious incident, with the passage of time, everyone started talking about the senseless killing of Noor Muqadam and the matter reached the houses of power and Prime Minister Imran. Khan took notice of the case.
At the time of the murder, the parents of the main accused Zahir Jaffer were present in Karachi to celebrate Eid-ul-Adha. They were arrested by Islamabad police on July 24 on charges of concealing and aiding and abetting crime, including employees at the scene.
On July 26, the Federal Ministry of Home Affairs blacklisted accused Zahir Jaffer and recommended that all the accused be included in the ECL. The names of the accused were entered in the ECL on August 10 after the approval of the federal cabinet.
Launch of fundraising campaign for Noor Mukadam case
On July 28, Noor Mukadam’s close relatives and friends launched a fundraising campaign on GoFundMe, which raised up to 49,000.
However, two days later, on July 30, the campaign was stopped. According to Shah Khawar, lawyer of Shaukat Mukadam, father of the deceased, the fund was started by friends and close relatives of Noor Mukadam. However, when Noor’s family found out about the fund, they shut it down.
According to Shah Khawar, they are looking into the case voluntarily and are not receiving any fees from Noor Mukadam’s family.
Advertisement in the newspaper by the parents of the accused
On July 29, the parents of the main accused, Zakir Jaffer and Ismat Adamji, placed an advertisement in Pakistani English newspapers on an occasion when they were in police custody.
In the advertisement, the parents of the main accused condemned the incident and expressed sympathy to Noor’s family. The publication of this advertisement was also severely criticized by the social media users and they kept calling the publication of the advertisement by the parents during police custody as fee saving.
A bail application was filed by the parents of the main accused in the local court of Islamabad, which was rejected on August 5, 2021.
On August 15, police expanded their investigation and arrested six people, including the CEO of Therapy Works, on charges of concealing evidence.
However, on August 23, 2021, a local court in Islamabad granted bail to the employees of Therapy Works.
The parents of the main accused again approached the Islamabad High Court for bail.
On September 29, the Islamabad High Court rejected the bail application and directed the trial court to complete the trial in two months. After which the lawyers of the accused approached the Supreme Court against the decision of the Islamabad High Court.
The Supreme Court on October 18 upheld the order of the Islamabad High Court to complete the trial in two months and granted bail to Ismat Adam Ji, mother of the main accused Zahir Jaffer on the ground that she was a woman.
Noor Muqadam’s friends, relatives and civil society also staged a protest at D-Chowk in Islamabad against the Supreme Court’s decision.
What report did the police submit to the court after the investigation?
About a month and a half later, on September 11, the police completed the investigation and submitted a supplementary challan to the court.
In this challan, the list of 18 witnesses including the statement of accused Zahir Jaffer was submitted to the court. According to a challan submitted by the police, “the accused told his father about the incident and he said, ‘Don’t worry, our servants will come and get you out.’
A DNA report is also attached to the supplementary challan which confirms the rape of the victim.
The police said in their report that if the father of the accused had informed the police in time, the life of the victim could have been saved. Zahir Jafar’s father Zakir Jafar has helped his son to cover up the crime.
The challan also contains a statement against the Therapy Works workers.
According to the statement, the accused told the police in his statement that the quarrel with the employees of the therapy workers was due to a misunderstanding and before the police arrived, the therapy workers tried to conceal the evidence together with the accused. The injured therapy worker did not register the incident and informed the police at the hospital about the traffic accident.
In the supplementary challan, the police also identified the domestic helpers present at the scene as accomplices in the crime and said: Kept closed If the guards had allowed the door to open, the victim could have escaped.
The formal trial begins and the main accused talks during the trial
On October 14, almost a month after the challan was filed in the court, all the accused were indicted and the trial officially started.
The accused had earlier requested the prosecution to provide details and documents of the evidence before indicting them in the local court of Islamabad and later in the Islamabad High Court.
During the trial, the main accused used obscene language in the court several times and even got involved with the police.
During a hearing, Zahir Jaffar said, “This court case is nothing but a puppet show. I am giving you a chance to hang me but you are hanging on to this case.” I have never seen so many incompetent people in a room in my life.
When the policemen started taking away Zahir Jaffer on the orders of the court, there was a scuffle between him and the policemen. I also filed another case against him.
Later, a petition was filed by the lawyer of the main accused regarding the mental condition of the accused during the trial. In which it was claimed that the mental condition of the accused is not right and the accused has done such acts in front of the court several times. The court should form a medical board for the mental examination of the accused.
The court rejected the plea of the main accused and declared it unnecessary.
The appearance of the main accused also kept changing during these four months and he was presented in the court once on a chair and once on a stretcher.
During a hearing, accused Zahir Jaffer also complained about the lack of drinking water in the court and addressed the judge and asked him to make some arrangement for water in this court.
The appearance and behavior of the accused also continued to change during the trial.
At the initial hearing, the accused had long hair and beard while he spoke only English.
But after a few hearings, his hair grew longer and his attitude changed. He also muttered in court and clashed with the police.
However, at the end of the trial, the accused Zahir Jaffar’s hair was scattered and his beard was also grown. He quietly listened to the court proceedings and refrained from reacting.
What has come to light so far during the trial?
The trial of Noor Muqadam case has been completed in four months after the indictment.
During the trial, the investigating officer said that the photograph test of the accused has been confirmed while the DNA report has also confirmed the rape.
A pistol, a magazine and a knife were recovered from the scene. The fingerprints of the accused were not found on the knife and pistol but the fingerprints of the accused are present on the magazine.
The matter has also been clarified by the Islamabad Police on which action has been requested by the lawyers of the accused to issue a statement in the pending case against IG Islamabad.
During the trial, it was also revealed that the victim was autopsied twice but the time of her murder could not be ascertained.
A transcript of the CCTV footage of the incident was also submitted to the court during the trial, while a copy of the CCTV footage was later provided to the lawyers of the accused.
CCTV footage released on November 13 shows that Noor Mukadam tried to flee the house of accused Zahir Jaffer but the accused grabbed him and forcibly took him back inside.
“Noor Muqadam comes to the gate to go out of the house of the accused but she does not manage to get out of the gate and hides in the cabin of the security guard.”
CCTV footage shows Jaffar and Noor Mukadam leaving the main gate of the house with large bags at 2:39 pm on July 19, and luggage in a taxi parked outside at 2:40 pm. They are seen entering the house again.
At 2:41 pm, Noor Mukadam is seen running barefoot towards the gate from this house in a state of extreme panic and fear while Zahir Jaffar rushes towards the gate from inside and snatches Noor Mukadam.
“Noor Mukadam is seen begging with folded hands, but Jafar Jaffar forcibly pulls Noor Mukadam and takes him inside the house.”
At 2:46 pm, Zahir Jaffar and Noor Mukadam leave the house and come to the main gate and can be seen sitting in a taxi parked in the street outside the gate.
At 2:52 pm, Zahir Jaffar and Noor Mukadam are seen entering the house with their bags through the main gate. The next day, July 20, at 7:12 pm, “Noor Mukadam is seen jumping from the first floor and falling on the railing adjacent to the ground floor gallery.”
She staggers to the main gate and tries to get out. The guard at the gate does not let them out and closes the gate.
Meanwhile, Zahir Jaffar jumps from the terrace of the first floor of the house to the ground floor, runs and pulls out the light hidden in the guard’s cabin near the gate and snatches the mobile phone from his hand and enters the house. It looks like a sack that encloses with a drawstring.
During the trial, the lawyer of Therapy Works claimed that the accused was caught by the workers of Therapy Works and put in the police vehicle while the police claimed that the accused was tied up by the police personnel.
The therapy workers’ lawyer cross-examined the case with CCTV footage, but the lawsuit was settled out of court.
What did the accused defend themselves in the case?
Various statements were made in his defense by Zahir Jaffer, the main accused in the case. During the court proceedings, the lawyer of the accused also claimed to be medically unfit and requested the court to conduct an examination in this regard.
However, the court rejected the petition. It is pertinent to mention here that before deciding on this application, the judge had also summoned the accused in the court room and during these court proceedings a few questions were also asked from the accused.
A statement recorded by the main accused under section 342 of the Criminal Procedure Code stated that the victim had a drug party at his house on the night of the incident and had lost consciousness due to excessive use of drugs. However, when he regained consciousness, he found out that Noor Mukadam had been killed by one of the participants in the drug party. To substantiate this statement, the lawyers of the main accused have cited the medical report of the victim in which they claimed that the substance in the body of the victim has been confirmed which is due to excessive use of drugs.
However, the defense lawyer’s claim was rejected by the plaintiff and the prosecution, saying that the substance was formed in the body due to trauma and pressure on the lungs. The victim must have been in a state of shock when she was brutally murdered, and her lungs were under pressure.
In addition, the accused’s lawyer accused the victim of bringing large quantities of drugs to the scene and accused the police of not bringing the victim’s belongings on record so that the case could be reversed. ‘
According to the plaintiff and prosecution lawyers, when the victim arrived at the scene, they had nothing but ladies handbags. The bags mentioned by the accused’s lawyer were CCTV footage of the accused and the victim leaving home for the airport.
During the final arguments, the lawyer of the main accused also hinted at the murder in the name of honor.
He alleged that the victim and the accused were in a living relationship and both the families were aware of this. The young man may have lost his temper and taken such a step.
During the interrogation, the accused’s lawyer Sikandar Zulqarnain referred to not including the only brother of the victim during interrogation and said that according to the statement of ASI, when he reached the spot, ‘some people’ were present on the upper floor of the house. It was not immediately clear who the “certain people” were or why they were not involved in the investigation.
The call record data has been declared unverified by the parents of the accused in their defense and questions have been raised on the method of obtaining the record.
The lawyer said that the call record data was not obtained from the mobile companies but from the SP office which has no signature or seal. In addition, the decision of the Supreme Court has been cited by the counsel for the accused regarding the presentation of call record data as evidence in which the call record data cannot be presented as solid evidence without a transcript.
The prosecution has said in this regard that there is no SOP for obtaining call record data and generally call data is obtained from the SP’s office.
In addition, the lawyers of the domestic workers have claimed that they did not stop the victim from leaving the house and this has not been revealed in the CCTV footage. An employee can only inform his employers and they have informed the parents of the accused about this matter.
The employees and CEO of Therapy Works have also been named in the case.
Police claim that the therapy workers tried to destroy the evidence at the scene and did not report it to the police, who were informed about the incident by the parents of the accused.
The defense lawyers’ defense attorneys have argued that “there is nothing but call record data that can prove contact.” The therapy workers went to the scene for a medical interrogation at the request of their parents. If their intention was to destroy the evidence, the accused would not have stabbed their officer nor would they have caught the accused and handed him over to the police.
The therapy workers claim that they tied Zahir Jaffar with ropes and after the police arrived, they put the main accused in a police car.
The trial, which began in October, ended on February 22. There have been several hearings during the four-month period and the case will now be decided in the court of District and Sessions Judge Ata Rabbani on February 24.