A district and sessions court in Islamabad on Monday remanded Zahir Jaffer to police custody in Noor Mukadam murder case for two more days as he was produced in the court upon the completion of his two-day physical remand.
The physical remand extension was granted at the request of the police and after questioning the accused, the court ordered them to produce him in court again on July 28. Public prosecutor Sajid Cheema told the court that they have recovered a pistol from the accused.
27 years old Noor Mukadam, daughter of former Pakistani diplomat Shaukat Mukadam, was killed at a residence in Islamabad’s upscale Sector F-7/4 on July 20. A first information report (FIR) was registered later the same day against Jaffer, who was arrested from the site of the murder, under Section 302 (premeditated murder) of the Pakistan Penal Code on the complaint of the victim’s father.
According to the post mortem report, Noor was beheaded after the murder and had multiple stab wounds. The report obtained by the police last week had revealed that the victim had assault marks on her body and was stabbed several times before the suspect decapitated her.
The gruesome incident sparked a nationwide campaign seeking justice for her, with #JusticeforNoor becoming a top trend on Twitter. This outrage had prompted the prime minister to take notice of the killing. He directed the Islamabad police chief to make no concessions to the accused.
The suspect was produced before the court upon the expiration of his two-day physical remand, which was secured during the last hearing after an initial three-day remand. His counsel Ansar Nawaz Mirza argued that the police had already been granted a five-day remand, adding that a further extension was unnecessary.
Jaffer, who holds US nationality, told the court that his life was under threat, adding that the US Embassy had not contacted him as yet.
During the course of court proceedings, the suspect complained of being unable to hear the courtroom proceedings due to his distance from the judge. He was present at the far end of the courtroom at the time. Subsequently, the judge took notice and called him near the rostrum.
Meanwhile, Interior Minister Sheikh Rasheed said in a statement on Monday that the name of Zahir Jaffer will be placed on the Exit Control List (ECL). The minister maintained that his name has already been added to the Provincial National Identification List (PNIL), confirming that the father of the accused and his employees have been arrested.
The names of the accused in the Noor-e-Mukadam case will be presented to the cabinet this week for inclusion in the ECL, he said, adding that he wants Noor’s killer would be sentenced to death.
It is pertinent to mention here that the Islamabad police have also arrested parents of the accused as it added four more sections of the Pakistan Penal Code, mainly related to abetment and concealing evidence, to the FIR. The capital administration also sealed the office of Therapy Works which was owned by the alleged killer of Noor.