A court in Pakistan has sentenced a business tycoon's son to death for raping, torturing, and murdering the daughter of a former Pakistani diplomat. Jaffer beheaded his childhood friend Noor Mukadam at his house in Islamabad last year, in July.

He first held her hostage at his house for days, tortured her and eventually killed her because she had refused his marriage proposal. The incident had attracted widespread protests in the country already infamous for curtailing women's rights.

According to a report in Daily Mail, the CCTV footage accessed from Jaffer's house showed Mukadam trying several times to flee the house but was stopped by his staff. She could even be seen being dragged by a man inside the property when she tried to flee.

The verdict in the #NoorMukaddam case is unprecedented and will bring solace to the lives of her family. Justice has been served. pic.twitter.com/LOjvWqtnxv

— Mehrene Malik Adam (@AdamMehrene) February 24, 2022

Zahir Jaffer’s crimes were not only confined to rape & murder but the fact that he used his money and influence to assail the credibility of the victim. This perhaps is the only crime where the victim becomes the accused. Rest in peace Noor. https://t.co/SCN7BdLAPA

— Maryam Nawaz Sharif (@MaryamNSharif) February 24, 2022

The court has also sentenced Jaffer's guard and gardener to 10 years in prison for abetting the murder. "Justice has been served, and today's verdict will empower Pakistani women at large. We will challenge the acquittal of his parents at the higher court," The Guardian quoted prosecution lawyer Shah Khawar as saying.

Pakistani-American Zahir Jaffer is part of one of the richest families in Pakistan with some powerful connections. His parents Zakir Jaffer and Asmat Adamjee, however, did not try to cover up the crime, per the verdict.

Meanwhile, Mukadam's parents have said that they will challenge the aqcuittal of Jaffer's parents. "I am happy that justice has been served," said Shaukat Mukadam, Noor's father. "I said time and again that this was not a case of my daughter, it is a question of all of Pakistan's daughters," he added.

The court in its verdict said that Jaffer will be "hanged by his neck till he is dead." He has also been given a concurrent sentence of 25 years in prison for rape and kidnapping.

Violence against women in Pakistan has become endemic. According to a report by Human Rights Watch on Pakistan, "Violence against women and girls – including rape, murder, acid attacks, domestic violence, and forced marriage – remains a serious problem throughout Pakistan."

According to the Organisation of Economic Cooperation and Development {OECD}, at least 85 percent of women in Pakistan "have experienced physical and/or sexual violence from an intimate partner at some time in their life."

Pakistan protesters
A demonstrator holds a placard next to others during a protest against an alleged gang rape of a woman, in Karachi, Pakistan on September 18, 2020 Photo: AFP / Asif HASSAN