Sarah Inam: friends of UAE resident killed in Pakistan call for justice

Tributes paid to Abu Dhabi-based economist found dead in Islamabad

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Friends and colleagues of a UAE resident allegedly killed by her husband in Pakistan are demanding justice for the “caring and loving soul”.

Sarah Inam, 38, a Pakistani-Canadian who lived in the Emirates for 14 years, had travelled to Islamabad to see her husband.

Islamabad Police said her husband, who they named as Shahnawaz Amir, has been arrested following her death last week.

Amir's father Ayaz Amir, a prominent journalist, and his wife were also arrested.

Quote
Sarah was full of life when she was killed. She wanted more than anything to find love, have a family of her own and be a mother
Stephanie Habib, close friend

Pakistani media reports quoted police as saying Inam was struck on the head with a dumbbell and her body left in a filled bath. It was discovered on Friday.

Her husband has claimed that he acted in self-defence, Pakistani media reported.

Inam was married just three months ago.

Stephanie Habib, a close friend of Inam, said the talented economist, who worked for auditing company Deloitte and later two Abu Dhabi government departments, was “full of life”.

“I met Sarah when I first came to Abu Dhabi and we both worked at a big consulting firm,” Ms Habib told The National.

“We quickly became close friends and spent a lot of time together. Like me, she was a female expat on her own trying to make a career and a future for herself.

“She was hardworking, ambitious and responsible. She didn't rely on anyone but herself.

“Sarah was full of life when she was killed. She wanted more than anything to find love, have a family of her own and be a mother.”

Much-loved friend and colleague

Inam was born in Libya and went to school in Libya, Islamabad and Canada, before attending the University of Waterloo in Canada, where she graduated with Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in economics.

After briefly working in Canada, she moved to Abu Dhabi and worked for Deloitte as a public policy consultant for four years. She spent most of the past decade working for two Abu Dhabi government departments.

Other colleagues and friends have paid tribute to her, with one describing her as “very gentle and kind”.

Friend Saima Ismail told The National that they are all in “shock and are beyond heart-broken”.

“Sarah was a gentle soul — respectful, warm, and kind-hearted and so very bright and well-read, always with her nose in a book,” she said.

“I feel privileged to have known her, and she will be sorely missed by so many people. May her beautiful soul rest in peace.”

Stephen Nash worked with Inam at Deloitte between 2011 and 2014.

He said she was “much loved with friends all across the world”, and leaves behind a vast contingent of friends in the UAE.

“She was kind, gentle and thoughtful — the type of person that lit up any room she entered,” he said.

“Sarah was a talented economist with a lifelong passion of working with governments on education reform, employability and economic development initiatives.

“I am truly shocked by the brutal death of a much beloved friend and colleague.”

Demands for justice trending in Pakistan

#JusticeForSarah was trending on Twitter at the weekend and the case has also caught the attention of Pakistani celebrities.

Actress Mahira Khan tweeted her support for Inam.

“How long before we get any sort of justice for any woman who has been killed at the hands of rage and privilege. Another hashtag. Another long wait for justice. Justice delayed is justice denied,” she said.

Domestic and gender-based violence has been a problem in Pakistan for many years.

About 28 per cent of women between the ages of 15 and 29 have experienced physical violence, according to the Pakistan's Ministry of Human Rights.

According to the Aurat Foundation, a women’s rights organisation based in Islamabad, 2,297 cases of violence against women were registered across four provinces in 2021.

These violent incidents included murder, abduction, kidnapping, rape and gang rape, honour killings and domestic abuse.

Inam is survived by her parents and two elder brothers.

Updated: September 26, 2022, 7:42 AM
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