June 17, 2022

By Ahmed Saeed

LAHORE: An Australian-Pakistani woman, Sajida Tasneem, was reportedly murdered by her in-laws in district Sargodha on June 12. According to the first information report (FIR) of the incident, the mother of three was axed to death by her father-in-law.

Per the FIR, Tanseem’s father Sher Muhammad was present at the crime scene at the time of the murder.

“When I entered my daughter’s residence at 1:45 pm to meet her, the main gate was open so I let myself in. I heard Mukhtar Ahmad (Tasneem’s father-in-law) shouting and abusing my daughter. I went upstairs where I saw that Mukhtar Ahmad had stuffed Tasneem’s mouth with cotton to muffle her shrieks as he was swinging an ax down on her head,” the complaint read. “He also threatened to kill me if I tried saving my daughter. After that he fled with the ax, and my daughter succumbed to her injuries.”

The 38-year-old victim had graduated with a Bachelors in Civil Engineering from NED University Karachi, and also worked as an Assistant Air Traffic Controller in the Civil Aviation Authority Pakistan. She married Ayub Ahmed 12 years ago, and had a son and two daughters together. The youngest daughter is just three years old.

According to Tasneem’s father, the couple was living a happy life in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia before shifting to Australia in 2013. She was later awarded Australian citizenship.

“The couple came back to Pakistan and settled with her in-laws in Sargodha. After a few months, Ayub went back to Australia and later shifted to Bahrain for an online job,” Sher Muhamamd told Voicepk.net.

He added that his daughter started facing problems with her in-laws just a few weeks after her arrival in Pakistan, and had also been subjected to violence a few times as well.

“I told my daughter to leave everything behind and move back in with us but she refused. She said she could not leave her children. I believe my daughter sacrificed her life for the sake of her children,” Sher Muhammad stated.

In a Twitter thread posted by one of Tasneem’s acquaintances, she came back to Pakistan under immense pressure from her husband and had apprised him of the problems she faced with her in-laws, however he turned a deaf ear to her.

According to the thread, Tasneem wanted to go back to Australia for better education opportunities for her children but was not permitted by her in-laws. The accused also snatched her and her children’s passports, believing they would drift away from Islam in Australia.

The police have lodged the FIR under murder charges and arrested the main suspect in the case, Tasneem’s father-in-law. However, three more suspects including the victim’s mother-in-law and two other relatives are still at large.

“The Australian High Commission in Pakistan has also contacted us today and they assured us that they will leave no stone unturned to obtain justice for Tasneem. I also urge Pakistani authorities to help us in getting justice for my late daughter,” Sher Muhammad appealed.

Explaining the condition of his grandchildren, Sher Muhammad said that the youngest is unable to comprehend the situation and is having a difficult time coping.


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