With the hashtag #JusticeForNoor circulating all over social media and a million petitions signed over Facebook and Twitter, the nerve-wracking news of the brutal murder of a beautiful, young, and educated 27-year-old, Noor Mukadam, have made headlines nationwide. Noor, daughter of Shaukat Mukadam former Pakistan’s ambassador to South Korea and Kazakhstan, was proclaimed dead on July 20 at a residence in the upscale sector, F-7/4 Islamabad. The murderer, Zahir Jaffar is the son of the CEO of construction projects e.g., AJCL. Zahir exhibited psychiatric problems, violent tendencies and drug abuse, for which he was undergoing counselling at ‘Therapy works’; the dilemma being that he started conducting sessions at the same institute. According to sources, Noor had been staying at her long-time friend, Zahir’s apartment where a fight broke out between the two. Zahir got aggressive and attacked his friend. Despite attempting to escape, they all went in vain and the victim was brutally murdered in cold blood. It is unfathomable how much pain and suffering the victim had to endure while she was being stabbed and screaming for help, before being shot and finally beheaded. What makes this event even more traumatising is that the murderer not only belonged to an elite and educated social circle, but was also a certified psychotherapist at the most popular psychotherapy institutes in Islamabad, namely TherapyWorks. This shows the incompetence and nonreliability of our institutes. To top it all, the alleged murderer and the victim had a close relationship and had been childhood friends. This shows that a Pakistani female is so vulnerable that she cannot feel safe even with her closest friends. How can we possibly thrive in such a male-oriented society? The hard reality of our society is that it is taboo to talk about mental health. As a female, belonging to the same social class, age group and the exact locality where this horrendous event took place, has deprived me of sleep. As a Pakistani female, I am extremely fortunate to have been brought up in an open-minded, educated sector where gender equality has been of utmost importance. As an advocate for social issues and women empowerment, my work entails me staying updated with ongoing news regarding human injustices rampant in our society. Despite an incessant surge in the number of cases of atrocities committed against women in Pakistan i.e. rape, child marriages, domestic violence and acid attacks, to name a few; I have always remained strong and fearless; until recently, as it has been unimaginable that a crime of this magnitude would ever occur in this very elite neighbourhood. Since the mishap and much contemplation, I have realised that women rights are a crucial societal issue that gets sidelined by the authorities daily. The need of the hour is to bring such cases to the limelight and perpetuate them to the masses at a broader scale. We need to educate the female circles to remain vigilant and aware of their surroundings at all times. At its best, women must learn self-defence techniques, martial arts, kickboxing and should be equipped with safety gear, for example, pepper sprays, tasers, pocket knives and whistles etc. YouTube videos can provide a useful model. While going out, it is pertinent to inform at least one or two family members of our whereabouts. Keeping in view the prevailing state of affairs, it is safer to avoid leaving alone after dark and male-crowded areas. Most importantly, it is high time we dig deeper into the roots and focus on the moral upbringing of boys. Parents and teachers must play their role to make them realise the radical implications of their ‘casual’ attitudes such as male gaze, catcalls, body shaming and stalking and that is certainly not allowed at any cost. Last but not the least, it needs to be acknowledged that mental health is an actual issue, which just like physical health, needs proper treatment. The hard reality of our society is that it is taboo to talk about mental health. Drug users, alcoholics and psychiatric patients must come forward and the family must be willing to help and support them instead of backlashing them. It must be given priority because if left untreated, it will continue to transgress, which can have implications as demonstrated. Social media has once again proved as the most efficient platform for the oppressed citizens to raise their voices and criminalise such incidents. While Jaffers have silenced the mainstream media, the social media and the public are all coming strong and I, along with half of Pakistan’s population, will not settle down unless justice is served and the perpetrator, Zahir Jaffer, is brought to the book. I pray that in the near future, we can successfully tackle misogyny and prejudice that has been rampant since the inception of our country so that the coming generations won’t have to face such social evils, and thereby, feel safe in the democratic republic of Pakistan The writer is a freelance columnist.