Narasi.net – A Pakistani court has sentenced a man to death for raping and killing the daughter of a former diplomat who turned down his marriage offer. Noor Muqaddam, 27, was beaten, raped and beheaded by Zahir Jaffer, son of one of Pakistan’s richest families. The brutal murder took place at his home on July 20 last year.
CCTV footage shows him trying to escape but in vain. The video proves he jumped out of the vent, but he is then dragged back into the house. She was then tortured, raped, killed and then beheaded. The killings sparked a nationwide backlash and prompted demands that more work be done to ensure the safety of women.
The killing of Noor Muqaddam by a man she knew from a similar background, namely the upper class, dominated headlines for months. The issue has led to calls for an overhaul of Pakistan’s criminal justice platform, which carries very low penalties, especially for crimes against women.
Hundreds of women are killed in the country each year, and thousands more suffer the implications of acts of violence. Many problems go unreported. Two of Jaffer’s domestic workers were sentenced to 10 years in prison for abetting the murders, when their parents were released despite trying to cover it up.
Her father, Shaukat Muqaddam, called the verdict a victory for justice and said he wanted to make sure the perpetrators and perpetrators of the murder of women in Pakistan could not escape his crimes. “I am happy that justice is served,” he said.
“I already said this is not just a problem for my daughter, it is a problem for all the women in my country.” He promised to fight the acquittal of Jaffer’s parents. Jaffer, a 30-year-old US citizen of Pakistani origin, can also appeal the ruling.
Brutal Actions of Perpetrators Against Victims
Shumaila Jaffery, BBC correspondent in Islamabad In the days following her death, many demanded justice for Noor. His family were present in a packed courtroom in Islamabad and were visibly emotional as the judge read out the verdict.
Jaffer held Noor Muqaddam hostage for two days at his family home in a posh district of the capital after he refused to marry her. At one of the trials, being led out of the courtroom with about a dozen police officers, Jaffer told reporters: “I am angry, I killed Noor with a knife.”
The details of the horrific acts by the perpetrator on the victim that were revealed in court, shocked Pakistan. Women’s rights activists then took to the streets and some of them lit candles. Not a few women came forward and shared stories about domestic violence and sexual harassment.
Pakistan is ranked 153th out of 156 countries in the world gender equality index. In recent years, there have been attempts to introduce new laws to protect women. But now there is a change for the better, according to Nilofer Bakhtiyar, Head of the National Commission on women’s standing.
“These well-known issues have always existed, but now they are getting more attention in the media,” he said. “The families of the victims were also very helpful. Never, wasn’t it.” Bakhtiyar feels that public protests over the killing of Noor Muqaddam are part of the change. But violence against women remains a very serious case in Pakistan.
A recent Human Rights Watch report estimates that approximately 1,000 women die in so-called “honour killings” each year. Activists believe that the misogynistic mindset is so deeply entrenched in people that it can take years to bring about concrete change.
A month before the assassination of Noor Muqaddam, Pakistan’s Prime Minister (Pm) Imran Khan was accused of blaming victims and inciting hatred against women. At that time he pointed out that the increasing number of sex crimes in the country was partly due to women’s clothing choices.
His remarks angered women and sparked nationwide protests. But could the killing of Noor Muqaddam be a milestone for the women’s movement in Pakistan, and save the families of other victims? “Justice for Noor is a step forward, but we still have a long way to go.” said Khadija Siddique, a Pakistani who has also been a victim of violence by a male friend.
The final word
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