US embassy sends package to Zahir Jaffer ‘violating protocols’

The US embassy in Islamabad has sent a package to Zahir Jaffer the prime accused in the Noor Mukamdam murder case.

The development comes as Islamabad High Court has reserved judgement on the bail plea from Zahir’s parents, also arrested in the case.

Jaffer is being held at Adiyala jail in Rawalpindi. A court on Thursday set a date to indict Jaffer and 11 others in the grisly murder of Noor Mukadam, who was beheaded by Zahir Jaffer at his home in Islamabad on July 20, according to the police report submitted to the court.

After the arrest on July 21, Zahir Jaffer repeated a line to investigators for days: “I am an American citizen, speak to my lawyers.”

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When Zahir Jaffer was confirmed to be a US national, many Pakistanis wondered if the United States would pressure the Pakistan government into releasing him.

The US embassy issued a clarification on July 27 that the accused, like other US nationals, was subject to the country’s law. However, in August it was learnt that the US embassy sought and was granted consular access to Zahir Jaffer, who spoke to a US diplomat for 20 minutes and asked for legal aid.

Violation of diplomatic protocols

On Thursday, the embassy sent a package to be delivered to Zahir Jaffer through a courier service.

The jail authorities returned the package, saying the US embassy had violated diplomatic protocols.

Officials at the Adiyala jails say the US embassy should have routed the package through Pakistan’s foreign ministry, SAMAA TV reported.

The package contained books, clothes and other items, according to jail officials.

Court sets date for indictment

Earlier, the Islamabad session court hearing the murder case against Jaffer and 11 others set the date for indictment.

Jaffer, his father Zakir Jaffer, and four other accused were produced before Additional Session Judge Atta Rabbani. They were brought to the court complex handcuffed.

Six Therapy Works employees, who have been released on bail, also appeared before the court.

The accused were provided copies of the challan (the police report).

The court set October 6 as the date to indict all 12 accused in the murder case.

Zahir Jaffer’s parents have been accused of trying to hide the murder to protect their son. Islamabad High Court has reserved judgement on their bail plea.


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