Noor Mukaddam: Pakistan erupts in anger over murder of former ambassador’s daughter

·3 min read
Women rights activists light candles at a park in Islamabad against the brutal killing of Noor Mukadam, the daughter of former Pakistan envoy to South Korea, in the federal capital last week (AFP via Getty Images)
Women rights activists light candles at a park in Islamabad against the brutal killing of Noor Mukadam, the daughter of former Pakistan envoy to South Korea, in the federal capital last week (AFP via Getty Images)

The gruesome murder of the daughter of a former Pakistani diplomat in Islamabad has triggered nationwide outrage and a debate on the safety of women in the country.

Noor Mukaddam, the 27-year-old daughter of Shaukat Mukaddam, who has served as Pakistan’s ambassador to South Korea and Kazakhstan, was found murdered in a house in an upscale neighbourhood in the Pakistani capital on 20 July, according to investigation officers quoted by various new portals.

She was killed with a bladed weapon and later beheaded, police said.

Police arrested a suspect named Zahir Jaffer, who is believed to be a friend of Mukaddam and was spotted at the scene of the murder.

According to Pakistan’s Geo News, he is associated with an organisation called Therapy Works, a rehabilitation centre in Islamabad, which has also come under the radar of investigators after Mukaddam’s brutal murder.

The deputy commissioner of Islamabad said in a tweet that Mr Jaffer’s parents have also been arrested and the offices of the organisation sealed.

Several Pakistani women on social media demanded action against the culprits.

“Another day. Another woman brutally killed. Another hashtag. Another trauma. Another (likely) unsolved case. Another trigger. Another fear fest. Another rage roar. Another eid,” Meesha Shafi, an actor and singer from Pakistan, wrote on Twitter.

“So today its #JusticeForNoor, the name keeps changing. Nothing is changing, Nothing is improving, in fact it’s going from bad to worse,” Taha Saleem, a government official, wrote.

“When you’re a woman in Pakistan you grow up knowing JUST safely ‘existing’ is a privilege. And that any one at any time can take that privilege from you without EVER being held accountable. #JusticeForNoor,” wrote Kanwal Ahmed, a talkshow host and activist.

Cases of femicide have been widely reported in Pakistan in recent years and several protests have been held demanding stricter laws against violence and sexual harassment. Pakistan remains one of the most unsafe countries for women in the world. In the 2019 Women, Peace and Security Index, Pakistan ranked 164 out of 167 countries.

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