Sajida Tasneem killed in Pakistan allegedly by father-in-law

Sajida Tasneem, an Australian-Pakistani woman has been reportedly murdered by her in-laws in district Sargodha, Pakistan. According to the first information report (FIR) of the incident registered with the local police, Sajida, mother of three young children was axed to death by her father-in-law on June 12.

Now stricken with the deepest remorse and grief, Tasneem’s father Sher Muhammad coincidently managed to reach the scene of crime at the time of the murder, but could not save her.

“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 Sajida was a graduate with a Bachelors in Civil Engineering from NED University Karachi, Pakistan. Before moving abroad, she worked as an Assistant Air Traffic Controller in the Civil Aviation Authority Pakistan.

Sajida married Ayub Ahmed  in 2010, and had a son and two daughters together with the youngest one being just three years old.

According to reports, the couple were living a happy life in Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and Australia having moved to Perth in 2013.

Sajida Tasneem had been granted Australian citizenship.

Sher Muhammad, Sajida’s father told the media, that “they 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.”

According to her father, Sajida started having problems with her in-laws just a few weeks after her arrival in Pakistan.

She also suffered physical violence and abuse on many occasions.

“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,” Sajida’s father Sher Muhammad has been quoted as saying.

In a Twitter thread posted by one of Tasneem’s acquaintances, Sajida did not want to go back to Pakistan and was pressurised by her husband to relocate to Pakistan. And when she told her husband of the problems she was having, her husband did nothing and turned a blind eye.

Sajida’s friends and acquaintances claim Sajida wanted to come back to Australia for better education opportunities for her children. But her in-laws would not allow her. Her father-in-law had confiscated Sajida’s and her children’s passports to ensure they would not be able to whisk away.

Also read: Pakistani report Asad Hashim wins AFP’s Kate Webb prize for journalistic crusade

According to the website, her father-in-law feared living and growing up in Australia they would drift away from Islam.

The police have arrested the main suspect in the case, Tasneem’s father-in-law and booked him for her murder. However, Sajida’s mother-in-law and two other relatives also believed to be involved in her killing, 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 was quoted by as saying.

The tragedy has sent shock waves through the Australian Pakistan communities in various state and territories. What is most shocking is the fact that it has happened to an educated woman and both sides of the family seem to be informed and well educated.

It is most violent incident by far when a man raises his hand over a woman and in this case, it is her own father-in-law, who after the husband, is the second person supposed to protect her dignity and modesty and take care of her.

“Words aren’t enough to describe Sajida but she was a beautiful soul. Well educated with a positive and humble personality,” a friend of Sajida Tasneem in Perth told Perth Now.

“A cheerful lady and a wonderful mother raising her kids by providing them with her best. She was so loving and caring and close knit to the community.

“Her loss is a loss for eternity which will be remembered forever.”

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