ISLAMABAD: The father of Sarah Inam, a Pakistani-Canadian who was allegedly beaten to death by her husband last month, said on Wednesday the family would stay in Pakistan until the case was solved, calling on the government and judiciary to dispense speedy justice.
Inam, a 37-year-old economist who worked in Abu Dhabi, was murdered with dumbbells, according to police, by her husband Shahnawaz Amir at a suburban Islamabad home on September 23. Inam got married to Amir of her own choice on July 18 in his hometown of Chakwal. The parents of the couple were not present at the event.
Amir is currently under arrest and being investigated by police.
Inam’s parents and two brothers arrived from Canada and the United States respectively last week to perform Inam’s last rites and pursue the legal case.
“We are still traumatized and shocked, but strongly believe that we will get justice,” Inam Rahim, the victim’s father, told media in Islamabad.
“It was all planned. He [Amir] was a predator from the start, and my daughter was so naive to believe him,” he said, adding that the family would stay in Pakistan to pursue the case till its end.
Rahim said Amir seemed “sensible and convincing” when they had interacted over the phone after the marriage and the family never suspected he was a “beast and killer.”
“We had no negative information about Shahnawaz before the incident,” he said, adding that his daughter informed the family about the marriage over the phone after it was contracted.
“We were planning a formal wedding reception for our daughter in the first week of November,” Rahim said. “It never occurred to us that our daughter, who was a genius and accomplished professional, could be killed like this.”
The father expressed confidence in the police and the investigation process and said he hoped “justice will be served in the minimum possible time.”
The police have so far verified the couple’s nikah, seized a Mercedes car bought by the deceased, and investigated at least five people who attended the couple’s marriage in Chakwal. The police have yet to recover the deceased’s Canadian passport to get exact details of her travel history and have also sought court permission to access the victim and suspect’s bank accounts to investigate accusations of extortion against Amir.
Inam’s murder is reminiscent of last year’s headline-grabbing murder of Noor Mukadam, 27, which drew an outpouring of anger over femicides in the South Asian nation.
In March this year, a Pakistani court sentenced to death Pakistani-American Zahir Jaffer, a childhood friend of Mukadam, for beheading her. Mukadam and Jaffer were widely believed to have been in a romantic relationship, which they had broken off a few months before her murder.
The Islamabad High Court on Wednesday took up appeals in the Mukadam case and regular hearing will start from October 26, which lawyers say would conclude within ten weeks.
Speaking on the occasion, Inam’s brother Farrukh Inam, an employee at a tech company in the US, said his sister had been killed in a “premeditated act,” calling for the culprit to be hanged at the earliest.
“Our lawyer says we have a strong case to plead against the culprit and we’ll take it to the logical conclusion,” he said. “We haven’t been able to sleep peacefully since her murder.”
Inam’s two uncles, aunts and several first cousins were also present at the press conference.
“She was a brilliant, intelligent and kind person,” one of her uncles, Col (retired) Ikram Rahim, said. “She has left a void in our family that can’t be filled.”