LAHORE: Social media celebrity Qandeel Baloch was murdered, a year ago from today on the same date, in what is suspected to be a case of “honour” killing – an awful connotation of a coldblooded murder.
The life of Qandeel Baloch, whose real name was Fauzia Azeem, came to a tragic end after her brother allegedly strangled her to death on July 15. She was reportedly receiving death threats, and had asked for security from the interior ministry but her request received no positive response from the security agencies.
Qandeel had been spending days with her parents after she returned home for Eid, was asleep at her parent’s home in Green Town in Multan, when her brother, identified as Waseem entered the house and smothered her to death before fleeing, police said. According to the police, Qandeel’s brother had been threatening her over her Facebook posts and videos.
Baloch was a polarising figure in Pakistan, where she was admired and derided in equal measure. But her tragic end has shocked even her staunchest critics.
Qandeel released a music video which she starred in alongside young singer Aryan Khan. Titled ‘Ban,’ the music video touched on Qandeel’s status as a controversial social media icon, and was provocative given Pakistan’s conservative standards for entertainment.
Days later a man claiming to be Qandeel’s ex-husband made an appearance on TV, saying that Qandeel had a son with him during their brief marriage.
Qandeel confirmed his claims, saying she was forced into the marriage.
Meanwhile, Mufti Qavi, who remained on the spotlight after his pictures with Qandeel Baloch appeared on social media which also cost him his position as Ruet-e-Hilal committee member, strongly condemned the murder of Qandeel Baloch. He said that he had already pardoned the late Qandeel after she attempted to defame him by leaking doctored pictures.
The live coverage of verbal fights between Baloch and clerics further ignited the existing divide in the male-dominated society.
The murder has left many questions about the plight of women in Pakistan.