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HomeGo To PakistanPakistanis relieved Noor Mukadam’s killer got death, unlike Qandeel Baloch case

Pakistanis relieved Noor Mukadam’s killer got death, unlike Qandeel Baloch case

Author Salman Rashid said he is convinced Jaffer will walk free because of the wealth and tremendous influence his family has in Pakistan.

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A sessions court in Islamabad on Thursday sentenced Zahir Zakir Jaffer, the scion of a wealthy business family, to death for rape and murder of his 27-year-old girlfriend Noor Mukadam. Pakistanis are contrasting the case with that of the recent Qandeel Baloch judgment, in which her killer was able to secure an acquittal.

According to Pakistani newspaper Dawn, additional sessions judge Ata Rabbani announced the verdict, which was reserved on Tuesday, following months of hearing. Jaffar, a Pakistani-American, had raped and beheaded Noor at his upscale Islamabad residence in July last year.

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The mental health trope

Zahir had tortured Noor with a knuckleduster before beheading her but his family, instead of contacting police, had called upon Therapy Works facility for rehabilitation to admit their son.

An opinion article in Gulf News details how the power and influence of Jaffer’s family ensured that his actions remained concealed, even prior to the killing of Noor. Syed Talat Hussain, who authored the Gulf News article, writes how the lead psychiatrist in the case admitted to making a mistake. “He is also heard sharing with his colleagues the background of the attacker who apparently had a long history of drug abuse and violent conduct that did not spare even his mother but which was all wrapped in silence through influence-peddling and use of the family’s wealthy status.”

People across Pakistan have lauded the court’s decision and took to Twitter to share reactions:


Pakistanis also called for immediate implementation of the sentence, and for similar sentencing in other cases as well, where horrific violence has been committed against women.

Many shared Noor’s photo from a protest where she was holding a placard demanding justice for rape victims:

Qandeel and Noor

Noor’s father Shaukat Mukadam, a former diplomat, said that the case was a question of all the daughters of Pakistan and not just his.

Last week, a Pakistan high court allowed the murderer of Qandeel Baloch to walk free. The murderer, Qandeel’s brother Muhammad Waseem, had admitted to killing his 26-year-old social media star sister for posting “shameful” pictures on Facebook in 2016.

While the sentencing in Qandeel’s case had drawn sharp reactions across Pakistan, Noor’s case seems to have brought a sense of relief and hope.

People are pointing out how Qandeel was failed by the same judiciary that gave Noor’s murderer his due.

A Twitter user Sahar also pointed out how the question of ‘character’ played out in the Qandeel Baloch case, where her ‘questionable’ reputation was a deterrent to her murderer being punished:

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Has justice really been served?

Considering Qandeels brother was also first sentenced to 25 years but eventually got acquittal because of Pakistan’s controversial blood pardons, not many are upbeat about the judgment in Noor’s case.

Pakistani activist Usama Khilji wondered if this is the end of the matter, or the case might have a different outcome in a higher court.

Author Salman Rashid is convinced Jaffer will walk free because of the wealth and tremendous influence his family has in Pakistan.


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