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Sunday, December 3, 2023

Standing Committee on Human Rights takes up Noor Muqaddam Murder case

Senate Standing Committee on Human Rights chaired by Walid Iqbal has decided to discuss the prevalence of violence against women in society on 28th July. The committee will deliberate on a framework to deter cases like Noor Muqaddam's murder from rising in the future and ensure the safety and security of Women.

Senate Standing Committee on human rights headed by Senator Waleed Iqbal has scheduled a meeting on the 28th of July to discuss the recent murder of Noor Muqaddam in Islamabad.

According to the notification issued by the Senate Secretariat, the agenda of the meeting on Wednesday at 3:30 PM is to have a “briefing on the rising trend of crimes/violence against women with particular reference to the brutal murder of late Ms. Noor Muqaddam at Islamabad, and deliberations on way forward to curb such cases, ensure safety and security of women.”

Noor Muqaddam case notification

Chaired by PTI’s senator Waleed Iqbal, the prominent members of the committee include Minister for Human Rights Shireen Mazari, Senator Mushahid Hussain Syed of PML-N, Senator Syed Faisal Ali Subzwari of MQM.

The latest update

Zahir Jaffer has allegedly told the motive behind the brutal murder of Noor Mukadam to the investigators after a five-day physical remand, on 27th July.

The reason according to the latest media reports is that he killed her for cheating on him.

On 27th July, a sessions court in Islamabad on Tuesday sent the parents of Zahir Jaffer and two other suspects to jail on a 14-day judicial remand for their alleged involvement in Muqaddam’s murder.

It was learned that Jaffer’s mother and security guards had deliberately hidden the horrifying murder incident from the authorities. Noor’s life could be saved if the persons who were present there on the crime scene called the authorities, the media has reported.

Following the verdict, Zahir’s parents turned in a request for release on bail to the court.

The court sent a notice to the police, informing them of the request, and also asking for a complete record of the case.

Read More: Noor Mukadam murder condemned by Association of Former Ambassadors

Additional District and Sessions Judge Muhammad Sohail will decide on the matter of bail on July 30.

The unfolding of the case

The murder of Noor Muqaddam, daughter of former Ambassador Mr. Shaukat Ali Muqaddam came to light as the 27-year-old was found dead in the capital’s upscale Sector F-7/4 area on Tuesday 20th July 2021.

Zahir Jaffer, the son of the CEO of a leading construction company in Islamabad is the main suspect in the murder and was arrested on the spot and taken to the police station, and the investigation is underway.

The initial investigation revealed that Zahir and Noor were childhood friends and their break-up appears to be one of the dominant reasons behind her murder. The reports also suggested that she went to the suspect’s house on the 20th and lost contact with her father on that morning.

On July 24, in the case’s hearing, the prosecutor had told the court that the murder weapon, a knife along with a pistol and a knuckleduster was recovered from the accused.

The accused was again produced before the court on Monday upon the expiration of his latest two-day physical remand, which was secured after an initial three-day remand.

His counsel Ansar Nawaz Mirza argued that the police had already had his client remanded for five days, saying a further remand was “unnecessary”.

It was then learned that Jaffer confessed to killing Noor Muqaddam while police collected video evidence of the victim being subjected to torture by the accused.

“In the footage, the girl can be seen trying to escape from the house by jumping from the first floor and rushing towards the main gate,” media reported

Meanwhile, Islamabad Inspector General of Police Qazi Jamilur Rehman on July 23 had instructed the investigation team probing the killing to seek the placement of the suspect’s name on the Exit Control List (ECL).

On the other hand, the police have also found video evidence of him torturing Noor on his mobile phone, as well as CCTV footage of the incident.

While there have been claims of the accused being a patient of mental illness, Jaffer’s defense counsel has not taken the insanity plea. When the case was initiated, the SSP Investigation had told the media in Islamabad that Zahir Jaffer was of sound mind and “in his senses” when arrested at the scene of the crime.

Major stakeholders, including ministers, members of civil society, and even the country’s ambassadors have called for justice in this case, and have raised their voice for the end of femicide in Pakistan.

The other meeting

Other than the meeting to address gender-based violence in the country, the senate committee on human rights has called another meeting at 11 AM on 28th June with the agenda of “briefing on the working, powers, and functions of the Ministry (referring to Ministry for Human Rights) and the state of enforcement of Human Rights in Pakistan.”

Read More: Pakistani teenager in Italy allegedly murdered for refusing arranged marriage

The second agenda is “Consideration of ‘The Islamabad Capital Prohibition of Corporal Punishment Bill, 2021’ introduced by Senator Saadia Abbasi..”