Alia Waheed: Pakistan reckons with its ‘gender terrorism epidemic’ after murder of Noor Mukadam

The family of a 27-year-old woman who was allegedly tortured and beheaded by the son of a business tycoon have spoken of their devastation in a case that has pushed Pakistan to examine what has been called a “gender terrorism epidemic”. Zahir Zakir Jaffer was arrested on suspicion of the pre-meditated murder of Noor Mukadam, the youngest daughter of a former Pakistani diplomat, after allegedly holding her captive for three days at his apartment in an upmarket area of Islamabad.

Noor Mukadam murder: ‘new details, characters’ emerge

Noor’s case will be a test for the authorities and for Pakistani society in more ways than one

The case, involving two of the capital’s richest families, has shone a light on Islamabad’s elite, the offspring of landowners, politicians and business tycoons. In a country where so-called “honour” killings are common practice, the brutality of the killing has forced Pakistan to confront its poor record on gender-based violence. In the World Economic Forum’s global gender index, the country is ranked 153 out of 156 countries, just above its Taliban-ravaged neighbour Afghanistan….

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