The gruesome murder of Noor Mukadam serves as a classic example of Pakistan’s instability in violence against the vulnerable. There seems a certain assurance that a man can get away with heinous acts without any fear of the law. Just this much reveals the course of the nation’s social construct. Perhaps, the angst and dialogues on this particular case are because deep inside, we all know that once there is an adequate diversion, Zahir Jaffer will eventually be set free. Noor’s father, Shaukat Ali Mukadam, a former diplomat, was reduced to holding a placard on the streets to get justice for his daughter. The homicide case of the century, with its twists and turns, was only going to go one way as this dealt with the elite class of Pakistan. Gender-based violence (GBV) has been a struggle for human rights activists and remains an unresolved subject in Pakistan due to constraints not only in judicial reforms but also starting from the wording of the constitution to the very basics of acceptance of its existence. It is no secret that Pakistan ranks as the sixth most dangerous country for women (according to Reuters). The United Nations Population Fund (UNPF) reported that 32 per cent of women have experienced violence in Pakistan. The Humans Rights Watch World report describes violence against women and girls which includes rape, murder, acid attacks, domestic violence and forced marriage as an “endemic” in Pakistan. Noor’s father possibly understands this more than anybody else, that it was fate that it would be his child where deals and negotiations would be made for the release of the perpetrator. This is a country which negotiates the correct price given who it is. Noor Mukadam should be alive today. Zahir Jaffer should be locked up for the rest of his life for this crime. The Islamabad Sessions Court initially gave Zahir Jaffer the death penalty along with a 25-year prison term (for rape), plus 10 years (for kidnapping with intent to murder) and one year (for wrongful confinement). In addition, almost two years after the murder, recent news has been updated that Jaffer’s life sentence is to be converted to capital punishment this year. Should any of these lessen through appeals, which are now being repetitively presented to the Islamabad High Court (IHC), he would be out, like any other powerful individual, utilising the courts to his advantage. Let’s be clear, the judiciary in this particular case has done the needful. They have delivered the system perfectly. It will be the implementation, which might create the loophole and lean towards injustice. In its appeals in IHC, the defence for Jaffer has argued that international human rights watchdogs have appealed to Pakistan in the past as a country, not to impart capital punishment. What Pakistanis understand by this is that eventually through this route, Jaffer’s sentence will be reduced and he will be let free on “humanitarian” grounds after serving only a few years, which is the hope of the families that surround him and have nurtured him. Here is the thing, once Jaffer is released, where would he go? He would eventually commit another crime if allowed to be set free on any kind of leniency. The original culture of Pakistan, once considered the epitome of hospitality and goodness, has been replaced by a subculture, which has taken a very dark turn. Or, perhaps, it was this subculture or aspect that was never allowed to be shown in the media by voices that were once silenced. The Constitution of Pakistan has tried to provide amendments with bills such as; the Anti-Rape Bill (Investigation and Trial) 2021, or the Domestic Violence (Prevention and Protection) Bill 2021. Many bills with their amendments are still pending and are yet to be passed as laws because conservative parties have found them to be invalidating “social values.” The implementation of acts that prevent GBV has been presented in several different forms. Of this, there is no doubt. However, most of these have been invalidated or have never culminated into actionable policies. Although GBV courts have been created, there is still underreporting of sexual offences due to societal constraints. Before these courts, it was said that there were only two to three per cent of convictions of such offences. Every Pakistani citizen understands the lip service that the law has become for those who can avoid it. Zahir Jaffer may have received the punishment in words and the media, but there is much to be determined for this case despite the official condemnation. The parents and the families that created Zahir Jaffer will do whatever it takes to save their son. In this patriarchal construct, Zahir would always be given the best resources and top lawyers to plead his case and support from all aspects of social media. They are known to have contacts with the ruling elite of the country and would utilise such resources to safeguard their interests. Not very long ago, well-known personalities were victim-blaming by tainting Noor Mukadam’s reputation; creating suspicious events through controlled media throughout the trial. This article was fuelled by the comments of a relative defending the family’s actions and asking what was the girl doing at that time of night at his house. I don’t care if Noor went to anybody’s house at night for what was an ordinary visit to her supposed friend’s place. It doesn’t mean she was up to be confined, raped, tortured for 36 hours and finally beheaded. This is another generation that the country is now going to be dealing with that will question misogynistic viewpoints over a clear human rights brutality. Noor Mukadam should be alive today. Zahir Jaffer should be locked up for the rest of his life for this crime. Pakistani culture has become marred by an uneasy web that is overlapping it and weighs heavily, questioning its laws and actions to prevent human rights abuse in totality. The laws to prevent GBV have been initiated into our constitution, but there remains a bridge that is yet to be established for the permanence of accountability – and most of all implementation of the said punishments to a term of completion. Enforcing didactic rules alone won’t be enough to eradicate corruption and injustice for women like Noor in Pakistan. It must go hand in hand with state socialization. This, with the ability to remodel society as a safe place for all economic strata. This will only happen when the society itself addresses that Pakistan has a very serious problem of violence against women. What the country must acquiesce is that it will be dealing with many “Zahir Jaffers” for a very long time. They are a creation that has sprung unhindered from a broken system. A structure for whom it was fabricated: the elite and the ruling class–those who will always be able to get away. It was never created for the “Noors” of Pakistan. The writer is a security analyst known for her articles on sociocultural issues.