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

The three children of a highly skilled engineer who was allegedly chopped to death with an ax by her father-in-law are “traumatized” by what they saw – as one friend reveals that she was “treated like a slave.”

Sajida Tasneem, 38, was persuaded by her husband, Ayub Ahmad, to leave her home in Perth to move to Pakistan in 2017.

The engineer is said to have been gagged and murdered on June 11 in a house she shared with her in-laws near the town of Sargodha in the north of the country.

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

“He threatened that if anyone came near, he would kill them,” the police report reads.

“I feared for our lives and didn’t move.”

Mrs Tasneem’s father saw his daughter gagged with a cloth while Ahmad reportedly repeatedly threw rubbish on her head in a final act of humiliation as he swung the ax across the room.

Sajida Tasneem, 38, was persuaded to leave her home in Perth by her husband, Ayub Ahmad, to move to Pakistan in 2017

Sajida Tasneem, 38, was persuaded to leave her home in Perth by her husband, Ayub Ahmad, to move to Pakistan in 2017

He saw Ms Tasneem allegedly be beaten on the head with the ax, killing her on the spot.

The suspect has “violated all decrees” by “wrongly killing his daughter,” the man said in his statement to police.

He has taken responsibility for Mrs Tasneem’s three young children at his home in Faisalabad, west of Lahore, but has still not decided ‘what to do in the long run’.

“They’re still grieving and adjusting,” he said. “The children are traumatized.”

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

One friend said she was a devoted mother who would do anything for her children, tolerate “slave conditions” and ill-treatment from her in-laws for the sake of her family.

“Sajida lived for her children – she didn’t want to complain to the police because she was afraid they would be taken from her,” said South Asian women’s lawyer Yasmin Khan.

She was threatened, treated like a slave, had no privacy or freedom, abused, she had no money or clothes for her or her children. She was a highly educated and capable woman who gave her life for her children.’

Footage shows local residents gathering outside the family home after learning of the alleged ax murder

Footage shows local residents gathering outside the family home after learning of the alleged ax murder

Sajida Tasneem, 38, (pictured) was allegedly shot dead by her father-in-law in Pakistan on June 11.

Sajida Tasneem, 38, (pictured) was allegedly shot dead by her father-in-law in Pakistan on June 11.

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

Her father-in-law is said to have confiscated her and her children’s passports and banned them from attempting to return to Australia.

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

Her husband, who is also an engineer, works from Bahrain and it is clear he was not at home when the attack started.

Local police have confirmed that an arrest has been made and that Mukthar Ahmad has been charged. They would have found the alleged weapon on the spot.

Ms Tasneem’s grieving father, Sher Muhammad Khan, told BBC Urdu his family has been “wronged”.

Her father entered the house (pictured) to find Mrs Tasneem tied up, gagged and with trash being dumped on her

Her father entered the house (pictured) to find Mrs Tasneem tied up, gagged and with trash being dumped on her

“My daughter’s only mistake was that she came to Pakistan after being seduced by her husband. This did not please the in-laws and husband Ayub,’ he said.

“She wanted her children to receive higher education in Australia and not see the hardships of our lives.”

Ms Khan runs a volunteer agency from Australia that supports women like Ms Tasneem and said it’s much more common than people like to believe.

“I have clients who have said to me the things Sajida complained about…I have clients who want to go 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 have to protect them wherever they are.”

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

Local authorities found the alleged weapon and arrested her father-in-law and charged him with her death

Local authorities found the alleged weapon and arrested her father-in-law and charged him with her death

“Our community needs a different approach to getting the message out – they don’t see the mainstream messages and they don’t relate to it… We talk about intimate partner violence and some of our women are being abused by their laws and extensive family, which is a strange concept here.

“Sometimes the perpetrator isn’t even in the country — they could be abroad and abusing the victims remotely.”

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

“I don’t know how to understand my pain,” said friend Nazia Mesia.

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

Ms Tasneem is said to have been forced to return to Pakistan by her husband.  Pictured are buses in Sargodha, in the north of the country

Ms Tasneem is said to have been forced to return to Pakistan by her husband. Pictured are buses in Sargodha, in the north of the country

Almost a year to the day before her death, Ms Tasneem wrote an introspective piece in the “graveyard of blacks” – a place where women are dumped after an honor killing.

“God knows how long this law of horror and ignorance will last here, not in the jungle,” she wrote.

“Why is a woman killed every time in the name of honor?”

A spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade says it has contacted the family to express their condolences.

“The family will receive consular assistance,” the spokesperson said.

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