Zahir Jaffer's lawyers request medical board to determine murder suspect's 'mental health'

In this file photo, Zahir Jaffer, main suspect Noor Mukadam murder case, sitting in a court in Islamabad, Pakistan, on October 14, 2021. (Photo courtesy: Social Media)
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Updated 01 December 2021
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Zahir Jaffer's lawyers request medical board to determine murder suspect's 'mental health'

  • Jaffer’s legal team says medical board should determine “lunacy” of the main accused
  • At indictment hearing in October, Jaffer admitted he had committed murder of Noor Mukadam

ISLAMABAD: The legal team for Zahir Jaffer, the main accused in the grisly July murder of Noor Mukadam, filed an application in a sessions court in Islamabad on Wednesday requesting that a medical board be set up to assess the mental health of the key suspect.

Last month Zahir Jaffer was expelled from the court after he ‘disrupted’ a trial hearing in which witnesses were being cross-examined. Just a week earlier, police officers had to carry Jaffer out of the courtroom building after he used indecent language and misbehaved with the judge during a hearing. Islamabad police have also registered a criminal case against Jaffer for using “abusive language” inside the courtroom and attempting suicide on the court premises.

In Wednesday’s application, Jaffer’s lawyer said that the accused was a “chronic patient of mental disorder / Schizo-affective disorder due to drug psychosis and the same was the position at the time of his arrest on 20.07.2021.”

The team asked the court to authorize setting up a medical board “to determine the lunacy / mental health of accused Zahir Jaffer in the interest of justice.”

“Local police and investigating agency, remained fail or willingly avoided to disclosed the mental health condition of accused Zahir Jaffar to the record and courts due to social / complaint’s influence as the complainant is an ambassador and has good connections in the power corridors,” the application added. 

Mukadam, 27, the daughter of Shaukat Mukadam, Pakistan’s former ambassador to South Korea and Kazakhstan, was found beheaded at a residence in Islamabad’s upscale F-7/4 neighborhood on July 20. The prime suspect, Jaffer, was arrested from the crime scene on the day of the murder and has been in custody since.

At his indictment hearing in October, Jaffer admitted he had committed the “crime” but appealed to the judge to release him from jail and put him under house arrest.  

The murder trial that began in October is one of the most closely watched in Pakistan’s recent history, as the case has sparked public outrage and grabbed media attention unlike any other recent crime against women.  

The transcript of the CCTV footage showing events that preceded Mukadam’s murder was submitted by the prosecution last month. It said the victim had jumped from the first floor of the chief accused’s house but was prevented by staff from leaving the premises.  

Others charged in the case include Jaffer’s parents, Zakir Jaffer and Asmat Adamjee, three of their household staff, Iftikhar, Jan Muhammad and Jameel, and six workers from Therapy Works, a counselling center from where Jaffer had received certification to become a therapist and where he had been receiving treatment in the weeks leading up to the murder. 


Saudi FM to arrive in Pakistan tomorrow on visit to enhance economic cooperation — Islamabad

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Saudi FM to arrive in Pakistan tomorrow on visit to enhance economic cooperation — Islamabad

  • FM Prince Faisal bin Farhan will be leading a high-level delegation, comprising senior Saudi officials
  • Visit comes days after Pakistan, Saudi Arabia reaffirmed commitment to expedite $5 bln investment

ISLAMABAD: Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan will arrive in Pakistan on Monday on a two-day visit aimed at enhancing bilateral economic cooperation between the two countries, the Pakistani foreign office said.
Prince Faisal will be leading a high-level Saudi delegation, comprising the Kingdom’s minister of water and agriculture, minister of industry and mineral resources, deputy minister of investment, and senior officials from the Saudi energy ministry and the Saudi Fund for General Investments, according to the Pakistani foreign office.
The visit takes place essentially to expedite follow up on an understanding reached between Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman during their recent meeting in Makkah to enhance bilateral economic cooperation between Pakistan and Saudi Arabia.
“The Saudi delegation is expected to hold meetings with the President, the Prime Minister, the Foreign Minister and counterpart Ministers, COAS, Apex Committee of SIFC (Special Investment Facilitation Council (SIFC),” the foreign office said in a statement on Sunday.
“This visit is aimed at lending positive impetus to enhanced bilateral cooperation and mutually rewarding economic partnership.”
The development comes days after Pakistan and Saudi Arabia reaffirmed their commitment to expedite an investment package worth $5 billion discussed previously, following the meeting between PM Sharif and the Saudi Crown Prince.
“The discussions centered on fortifying the fraternal relations between the two brotherly nations and exploring avenues for enhanced collaboration across various sectors,” read a joint statement issued by the Pakistani foreign office, a day after the meeting.
“Emphasis was placed on the Kingdom’s supportive role in Pakistan’s economy and the mutual desire to strengthen trade and investment ties. Both parties affirmed their commitment to expediting the first wave of investment package worth $ 5 billion which was discussed previously.”
Cash-strapped Pakistan desperately needs to shore up its foreign reserves and signal to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) that it can continue to meet requirements for foreign financing that has been a key demand in previous bailout packages.
Pakistan and Saudi Arabia enjoy strong trade, defense and cultural ties. The Kingdom is home to over 2.7 million Pakistani expatriates and serves as the top source of remittances to the cash-strapped South Asian country.
Saudi Arabia has also often come to cash-strapped Pakistan’s aid by regularly providing the South Asian country oil on deferred payment facilities and offering direct financial support to help stabilize its economy and shore up its foreign exchange reserves.


Pakistanis from different faiths rally against Israeli atrocities in Gaza

Updated 14 April 2024
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Pakistanis from different faiths rally against Israeli atrocities in Gaza

  • The protest was organized by Palestine Foundation Pakistan (PFP) that advocates for the rights of Palestinians
  • A PFP representative says the purpose of the rally in Karachi was to condemn the ‘genocide’ happening in Gaza

KARACHI: A large number of Pakistanis, who came from different faiths, on Sunday gathered in the port city of Karachi to demand an immediate end to Israeli strikes in Gaza, which have killed 33,360 Palestinians and wounded 75,993 others since Oct. 7.
The protest, held outside the Karachi Press Club, was organized by the Palestine Foundation Pakistan (PFP) advocacy group and attended by Pakistani men, women and children from different faiths.
Anil Singh, a Pakistani Sikh, said their gurus (spiritual leaders) had urged their followers to stand against oppression and the same teachings had brought him to the demonstration.
“The entire nation has gathered for a purpose, to condemn the loss of human lives in Palestine due to Israeli aggression, which has been bombing for months, resulting in the martyrdom of more than 33,000 children, mothers and sisters,” Singh told Arab News.
“I condemn this act on behalf of the Sikh community, strongly denounce it, and it’s my message to the United Nations, international media, and all major platforms that we need to raise our voice.”
Singh called the killing of Palestinians in Gaza a “loss of humanity.”
“This is not just the loss of Muslim lives. It’s a loss of humanity, a violation of human rights,” he said. “We should stand with these [Palestinians] as humans and as Sikhs.”
Dr. Sabir Abu Maryam, general secretary of the PFP, said the purpose of the rally was to condemn the “genocide” happening in Gaza. “We strongly condemned this genocide and we stand with Palestine,” he said.
The rally came hours after Iran launched several drones and missiles on Israel in response to an Israeli strike on its consulate in Damascus, which killed seven Revolutionary Guards, including two generals, this month.
Commenting on Saturday’s attack by Iran, the protester said it was a “retaliation” to the Israeli strike on the Iranian mission in Syria.
“It’s the fundamental right of the state to retaliate and to respond to [an attack]. So, the response of Iran is the actual and an appropriate response,” he said, arguing that if Israel attacked Iran, it would be a violation of the international law.
Mrs. Iqbal, another participant who only gave her second name, told Arab News she and other protesters would take to the streets in case Israel attacked Iran.
“Iran has yesterday retaliated but if Israel takes any sort of step, we will come out for it [Iran],” she said. “We will raise our voice.”
Iqbal said Israel wanted to wipe Palestine off the face of the earth and Muslims across the world had the obligation to take to streets and at least protest it.
“We are also training our children and asking the people, who are sitting in their homes but not coming out, to come out,” she added.


Saudi Arabia likely to invest $1 billion in Reko Diq project — Pakistani state media

Updated 14 April 2024
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Saudi Arabia likely to invest $1 billion in Reko Diq project — Pakistani state media

  • Located in Pakistan’s Balochistan, Reko Diq contains one of biggest copper, gold deposits in world
  • The project has the potential to produce a large amount of these precious commodities for decades

ISLAMABAD: Saudi Arabia is likely to invest $1 billion in Reko Diq copper and gold mine project in Pakistan’s southwestern Balochistan province, Pakistani state media reported on Sunday.
Located in the Chagai district, Reko Diq contains one of the biggest undeveloped copper and gold deposits in the world, with the potential to produce a large amount of these precious commodities for decades.
The project is owned 50 percent by Canada-based Barrick Gold Corporation, 25 percent by three federal state-owned enterprises, 15 percent by Balochistan on a fully funded basis, and 10 percent by Balochistan on a free carried basis, according to Barrick.
“A Saudi investment of up to one billion dollars is likely next month in the Reko Diq Copper Gold project located in Chagai district in Balochistan,” the state-run Radio Pakistan broadcaster reported.
“Special Investment Facilitation Council is trying to remove obstacles in this regard.”
Pakistan set up the SIFC, which also includes its army chief, in June last year with the sole purpose of reviving the frail economy, dented by low foreign exchange reserves, currency depreciation and record inflation.
In the subsequent months, Islamabad signed a number of bilateral agreements with brotherly countries in the Middle East during high-level engagements by caretaker PM Anwar-ul-Haq Kakar and Army Chief General Asim Munir.
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif will soon constitute a committee comprising finance ministry officials and all stakeholders in order to ensure smooth completion of the Saudi investment, according to the Radio Pakistan report.
“Following this investment, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia will sign agreements for further investment in the mining sector,” the report read.


Pakistan pacer Ihsanullah leaves for England for assessment of elbow injury

Updated 14 April 2024
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Pakistan pacer Ihsanullah leaves for England for assessment of elbow injury

  • The fast bowler sustained the injury in April last year following a white-ball series against New Zealand
  • At the time, the PCB did not believe the injury was severe and the initial treatment reportedly worsened it

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan fast bowler Ihsanullah left for England on Sunday for a crucial appointment with esteemed orthopedic surgeon, Professor Adam Watts, regarding his elbow injury, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) said.
The pacer sustained the injury in April last year following a white-ball series against New Zealand. At the time, the PCB did not believe the injury was severe and the initial treatment, including gym and weight work, reportedly worsened it.
Ihsanullah’s appointment is scheduled for Monday, according to the PCB. Professor Watts specializes in hand and wrist surgery, shoulder and elbow procedures, sports injuries, and trauma surgery.
“Ihsanullah’s franchise, Multan Sultans, has collaborated with the PCB to secure this appointment,” the cricket board said in a statement. “The PCB, as Ihsanullah’s parent body, will cover all expenses for his treatment and rehabilitation.”
The PCB said it would provide further updates after the assessment and diagnosis by Professor Watts.
Since April 2023, there had been almost no official updates on Ihsanullah’s injury. His case received media attention this month, when Ali Tareen, owner of Pakistan Super League (PSL) franchise Multan Sultans, accused the PCB of failing to provide “appropriate treatment” to the player.
Tareen said the franchise had borne considerable expenses for the pacer’s treatment and he would likely require another surgery.


Pakistani man among six killed in Sydney knife attack — community groups

Updated 14 April 2024
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Pakistani man among six killed in Sydney knife attack — community groups

  • Faraz Tahir was killed by a knife-wielding man who also killed five women
  • The 40-year-old suspect was previously diagnosed with mental health issues

SYDNEY: A 30-year-old Pakistani man was named on Sunday as the security guard killed in a weekend knife attack in a Sydney shopping mall, according to two local community groups.
The Australian Pakistani National Association and Ahmadiyya Muslim Community said Faraz Tahir was killed by a knife-wielding man who also killed five women.
On Sunday evening, members of the Muslim community held a silent vigil for the man, who is said to have moved to Australia last year.
“He quickly became an integral part of our community,” a statement said.
The Australian Pakistani National Association encouraged the community to “stand together in solidarity, offering support and prayers to those grieving and affected by this heartbreaking loss.”
As the attack unfolded on Saturday, online social media accounts falsely reported that the attack was linked to ideological or religious groups or events in the Middle East.
Police have named the assailant as 40-year-old itinerant man Joel Cauchi who was previously diagnosed with a mental health issue.
New South Wales police Assistant Commissioner Anthony Cooke said there was no evidence to suggest Cauchi was “driven by any particular motivation, ideology or otherwise.”