ISLAMABAD (AFP) – A Pakistan court sentenced the scion of a wealthy industrialist family to death yesterday, for raping and beheading his girlfriend in a murder that sparked an outcry over the brutalising of women in the deeply patriarchal nation.
Pakistani-American Zahir Jaffer, 30, attacked Noor Mukadam at his Islamabad home in July last year after she refused his marriage proposal – torturing her with a knuckleduster and using a “sharp-edged weapon” to behead her.
Mukadam, the 27-year-old daughter of a former ambassador, had made repeated attempts to escape the mansion but was blocked by two members of staff.
“The main accused has been awarded the death sentence,” said judge Atta Rabbani at the Islamabad district court.
Jaffer’s parents, Zakir Jaffer and Asmat Adamjee, were found not guilty of attempting to cover up the crime.
The two staff members were sentenced to 10 years in prison for abetting murder. “I am happy that justice has been served,” said Shuakat Mukadam, Noor’s father, while pledging to challenge the acquittal of Jaffer’s parents.
The case prompted an explosive reaction from women’s rights campaigners reckoning with the pervasion of violence against women.