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Pakistani-American man sentenced to death for beheading ex-diplomat’s daughter

The murder in Islamabad last year of Noor Mukadam, 27, by the son of a wealthy businessman sparked outrage across the South Asian nation.
Police officers escort Zahir Jaffer, who was sentenced to death in the killing of Noor Mukadam, in Islamabad on Thursday. Anjum Naveed / AP
/ Source: Reuters

ISLAMABAD — A Pakistani court on Thursday sentenced a U.S. national of Pakistani origin to death for raping and beheading the daughter of a former diplomat, crimes that sparked outrage across the South Asian nation.

The body of Noor Mukadam, 27, was found in Islamabad on July 20. Police charged Zahir Jaffer, from one of Pakistan’s wealthiest families, with a murder that has dominated headlines ever since.

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The maximum sentence was “necessary,” the victim’s father said after sentencing.

“I’ve been saying that this is not just my daughter’s case, it is a case for all the daughters of my country,” he said.

Investigators say Jaffer lured Mukadam, a friend and daughter of Pakistan’s former envoy to South Korea, to his home, held her there for two days and then brutally murdered her.

Two of Jaffer’s employees were jailed for 10 years each on charges of abetting in the crime.

Hundreds of women are killed in Pakistan each year and thousands more are victims of brutal violence, but few cases get sustained media attention and only a small fraction of perpetrators are ever punished.