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Qandeel Baloch’s brother Waseem acquitted by Multan court


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The Multan bench of the Lahore High Court has acquitted Waseem, accused of murdering Qandeel Baloch.

He was sentenced to life imprisonment by a model court in 2019. Waseem was serving his punishment at the Multan Central Jail.

The Pakistani social media starlet was strangled by her brothers in Multan in July 2016 for honour.

The trial continued for more than three years. On Monday, Waseem’s lawyer argued that the sessions court had ignored the affidavit submitted by Qandeel’s parents which stated that they have forgiven the accused.

“The father of the victim has died. The witnesses in the case have also deviated from their statements in the trial court,” he added, requesting the court to quash the sentence against Waseem.

Justice Sohail Nasir, consequently, acquitted Waseem.

The 2019 verdict

In 2019, other suspects arrested in the case, cleric Mufti Abdul Qavi, her other brother Aslam Shaheen, Haq Nawaz, Abdul Basit and Mohammad Zafar Hussain, were released without charges.

The detailed verdict issued by the court read: The prosecution successfully proved its case beyond shadow of reasonable doubt through cogent, convincing and inspiring evidence against the accused for committing qatl-i-amd (wilful murder) of his sister Fouzia Ameen alias Qandeel Balouch in shape of proving his presence at the place of occurrence, in shape of judicial confession corroborated with positive results of his DNA.

“He is held guilty of committing qatl-i-amd of his sister,” it added.

Qandeel’s brother Waseem confessed to having killed her “because she brought dishonour to the Baloch name” with her social media videos and statement. Her brother Shaheen was nominated in the case as well.

Qandeel’s parents pardon sons

On August 21, 2019, Qandeel’s parents submitted an affidavit in the court. It stated that they have forgiven the killers and want the case against their sons to be disposed of.

It pointed out that the Anti-Honour Killing Laws (Criminal Amendment Bill) 2015 — which prevents killers from walking free after being pardoned by the victim’s family — was passed months after Qandeel was murdered and can, therefore, not be applied to her murder case.

The claim of honour killing was against the facts [in the case], it added.

Who was Qandeel Baloch?

Born as Fauzia Azeem, Baloch was a social media sensation. She used to post her provocative photos and videos. She had several thousands followers.

According to AFP, she shot to fame in 2014 after a video of her pouting at the camera and asking “How em looking?” went viral.

Her defiance of tradition and defence of liberal views won her many admirers among Pakistan’s overwhelmingly young population. She was also reviled by many and frequently subject to misogynist abuse online.

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