The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Monday upheld the death sentence of Zahir Jaffer in the Noor Mukadam murder case, while also amending life imprisonment announced by a trial court into capital punishment.
A two-member bench comprising Chief Justice Aamer Farooq and Justice Sardar Ejaz Ishaq Khan issued the verdict, which had been reserved on Dec. 21, on appeals filed by Zahir and his family seeking a reduction to his punishment and acquittal of the co-accused in the murder of the 27-year-old woman.
Zahir was found guilty of Noor’s murder in February 2022, nearly eight months after her body was found at his residence in Islamabad. The brutal murder—with Noor’s father stating in the FIR that she had been killed with a sharp instrument and beheaded—triggered mass outrage, with Pakistanis demanding justice amidst concerns of Jaffer escaping punishment due to his wealthy family’s political connections. On Feb. 24, 2022, the trial court sentenced Zahir to 25 years’ imprisonment with hard labor, as well as a fine of Rs. 0.2 million for rape, and capital punishment for murder.
The court additionally sentenced Jan Muhammad and Muhammad Iftikhar—the gardener and security guard at Zahir’s house—to 10 years of imprisonment each. Their pleas for acquittal have also been rejected by the IHC.