Woman killed with axe in Pakistan ‘treated like a slave’ as police report reveals chilling details


Chilling new details emerge of gruesome ‘axe killing’ on Aussie engineer in Pakistan in front of her ‘traumatised’ children and dad who was helpless to stop the attack: ‘I feared for our lives and did not move’

  • Sajida Tasneem was allegedly killed by her father-in-law in Pakistan on June 11
  • The pair got into a fight after she revealed her plans to move back to Australia
  • The mother-of-three wanted to return to Perth for the sake of her kids’ education 
  • Her father-in-law has been charged with murder as tributes pour in for her online

The three children of a highly educated engineer who was allegedly hacked to death with an axe by her father-in-law are ‘traumatised’ by what they saw – as one friend reveals she was ‘treated like a slave’.

Sajida Tasneem, 38, was coaxed into leaving her home in Perth by her husband, Ayub Ahmad, to move to Pakistan in 2017.

The engineer was allegedly gagged and killed at the home she shared with her in-laws near the city of Sargodha in the country’s north on June 11. 

A local police report seen by Daily Mail Australia revealed the accused, Mukthar Ahmad, ‘threatened Ms Tasneem’s father’ when he tried to intervene in the attack.

‘He threatened if anyone came near he would kill them,’ the police report – translated to English – stated. 

‘I feared for our lives and did not move.’ 

Ms Tasneem’s father saw his daughter gagged with cloth as Ahmad allegedly repeatedly threw garbage on her head in a final act of humiliation as he swung the axe around the room.

Sajida Tasneem, 38, was coaxed into leaving her home in Perth by her husband, Ayub Ahmad, to move to Pakistan in 2017

Sajida Tasneem, 38, was coaxed into leaving her home in Perth by her husband, Ayub Ahmad, to move to Pakistan in 2017 

He watched as Ms Tasneem was allegedly struck over the head with the axe, killing her at the scene.  

The accused ‘violated all decrees’ by ‘unjustly killing his daughter’, the man said in his statement to police.

He has taken on responsibility of Ms Tasneem’s three young children in his home in Faisalabad, west of Lahore, but still hasn’t decided ‘what to do long term’.

‘They are still grieving and adjusting,’ he said. ‘The children are traumatised.’

Ms Tasneem told her in-laws she had plans to take her children back to Australia for a better life.

One friend said she was a dedicated mother who did everything for her children, putting up with ‘slave-like conditions’ and poor treatment from her in-laws for the sake of her family.

‘Sajida lived for her kids – she didn’t want to complain to police because she was scared that they’d be taken from her,’ South Asian women’s advocate Yasmin Khan said.

‘She was threatened, treated like a slave, had no privacy or freedom, abused, she didn’t have money or clothes for her or her kids. She was a highly educated and skilled woman who gave her life for her children.’

Footage shows locals gathered outside the family home after learning of the alleged axe killing

Footage shows locals gathered outside the family home after learning of the alleged axe killing

Sajida Tasneem, 38, (pictured) was allegedly axed to death by her father-in-law in Pakistan on June 11

Sajida Tasneem, 38, (pictured) was allegedly axed to death by her father-in-law in Pakistan on June 11

Ms Tasneem felt pressured to return to Pakistan for the sake of her marriage in 2017 but considered Australia her home after moving to Perth in 2013. 

Her father-in-law allegedly confiscated her passport, along with those of her children, and forbade them from attempting to return to Australia.

The argument between the pair escalated until, on June 11, the accused allegedly attacked Ms Tasneem with an axe.

Her husband, who is also an engineer, has been working out of Bahrain and it’s understood he was not home when the attack began. 

Local police confirmed an arrest has been made and Mukthar Ahmad has been charged. They reportedly found the alleged weapon at the scene.

Ms Tasneem’s grieving father Sher Muhammad Khan told BBC Urdu his family had been ‘wronged’.

Her father entered the home (pictured) to find Ms Tasneem bound, gagged and having rubbish dumped on her

Her father entered the home (pictured) to find Ms Tasneem bound, gagged and having rubbish dumped on her

‘My daughter’s only fault was that she came to Pakistan after being seduced by her husband. This was disliked by the in-laws and husband Ayub,’ he said.

‘She wanted her children to get a higher education in Australia and not see the deprivations of life that are with us.’

Ms Khan runs a volunteer agency out of Australia supporting women like Ms Tasneem and said it’s far more common than people like to believe.

‘I have clients who have said the things to me that Sajida complained of… I have clients who want to come home. Let Sajida’s death be a wake up call that just because Australian women have left the country, they are still our responsibility.

‘We should protect them wherever they may be.’ 

Ms Khan says culturally appropriate and targeted funding is needed to help teach women about the signs of domestic abuse and inform them of the support systems available in Australia.

Local authorities found the alleged weapon and arrested her father-in-law, charging him over her death

Local authorities found the alleged weapon and arrested her father-in-law, charging him over her death

‘Our community needs a different approach to get the message out – they don’t see the mainstream messaging and they don’t relate to it… We talk of intimate partner violence and some of our women are being abused by their in-laws and extended family which is a foreign concept here.

‘Sometimes the perpetrator isn’t even in the country – they could be overseas and abusing the victims from a distance.’ 

Tributes started pouring in overnight for the beloved mother, who leaves behind a son and two daughters – the youngest of whom is just three years old. 

‘I don’t know how to comprehend my pain,’ friend Nazia Mesia said.

‘Sajida is someone who was always ready to help, positive and a beautiful soul.’

Ms Tasneem was reportedly forced to move back to Pakistan by her husband. Pictured are buses in Sargodha, in the country's north

Ms Tasneem was reportedly forced to move back to Pakistan by her husband. Pictured are buses in Sargodha, in the country’s north

Almost a year to the day before her death, Ms Tasneem penned an introspective piece on the ‘graveyard of blacks’ – a place where women are dumped after an honour killing.

‘God knows how long this law of horror and ignorance will continue here, not the jungle,’ she wrote.

‘Why is it that a woman is killed every time in the name of honour?’

A spokesperson for the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade said it had made contact with the family to offer their condolences.

‘The family is being provided consular assistance,’ the spokesperson said.

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