A district and sessions court in Islamabad on Monday extended till August 23 the judicial remand of parents and two household staffers of Zahir Zakir Jaffer — the prime suspect in Noor Mukadam’s murder.
The extension was sought following the expiry of their previous two-week remand pronounced on July 27. After judicial magistrate Naseeruddin granted a fresh extension of remand today, the suspects are now set to remain in Adiala Jail for another 14 days.
A district and sessions court in Islamabad reserved its decision on a bail petition by the parents of Zahir Zakir Jaffer — the main suspect in the Noor Mukadam murder case — on August 4. The verdict is to be announced tomorrow.
The entire news cycle is flooded with updates and reports on the gruesome murder of Noor Mukadam, the daughter of a former Pakistani Ambassador. Noor, 27, was murdered at a residence in Islamabad’s upscale Sector F-7/4 on July 20; police later arrested Zahir Jaffer from the crime scene, with damningly indicting evidence.
A first information report (FIR) was registered later the same day against Zahir, 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.
Later on July 24, Islamabad police had also arrested the parents — Zakir Jaffer and Asmat Adamjee — and household staff of Zahir for “hiding evidence and being complicit in the crime”. The parents were later sent to jail on judicial remand till Aug 9 and subsequently moved a bail petition against their detention.
During the hearing today, the parents’ counsel, Raja Rizwan Abbasi, read out the FIR registered on July 20. “Since the first day, my client has publicly condemned the murder. We stand with the affected party [and] we don’t stand with our son,” the counsel argued in the court of Additional Sessions Judge Sheikh Muhammad Sohail.
He said the parents were made a part of the investigation on the basis of their son’s statement and that they did not know what was happening in the house where Noor and Zahir were present. Abbasi further questioned what false information his clients had provided or what evidence they had hidden, claiming that there was such evidence on record.
During the course of the hearing, Zakir Jaffer, the suspect’s father, said, “We are not with our son, we stand with the victim’s family.”
Public prosecutor Naseem Zia, however, argued that at the time of the murder the primary suspect was in contact with his parents, who did not inform the police. “The servant called [them] when the act (Noor’s murder) was being committed but instead of sending police, they sent [employees of] Therapy Works.”
A pistol was also recovered from the suspect and which was registered in his father’s name, the prosecutor informed the court. “They tried to save their child on the basis of dishonesty. The bail application should be rejected at this stage,” the prosecutor said.
Shah Khawar, the counsel for Shaukat Mukadam, told the court that CCTV footage ties up the parents with the case, adding that the suspect had called his father three times in the evening of July 20 and his mother at 3pm.
“This was the time when Noor Mukadam was with Zahir Jaffer. The police station is half a kilometre away [yet] the watchman was not asked to go there.
“Prima facie, Zakir Jaffer and Asmat’s act connects with the suspect and that is enough,” Khawar said.
At this, the parent’s counsel replied: “Is it a crime for a mother and a son to have contact?”
“This is routine communication,” he said, stressing that no script, voice message or WhatsApp message to indicate complicity were found.
Last week, the Jaffer family had issued a statement condemning the actions of the primary suspect in the case.
“The Jaffer family extends its deepest condolences to the family and loved ones of Noor Mukadam. We pray her soul rests in eternal peace. We know that no amount of time will bring back the joy you have lost nor ease your pain.
“Our shock and grief at this horrific act have led to a prolonged silence that we very much regret. However, we categorically condemn this atrocity and forever denounce Zahir and his actions,” it had said.