LAHORE: Mufti Abdul Qavi, who was censured for appearing in “selfie” photographs with murdered social media celebrity Qandeel Baloch, is being investigated in connection with her killing, police said on Monday.
Qandeel’s brother, Muhammad Waseem, told media he drugged and strangled his sister as she had violated their family’s honour with her social media posts, including a series of selfies with Mufti Qavi last month. One video appears to show her sitting on Mufti Qavi’s lap.
Police said Mufti Qavi, who was suspended from a prominent Muslim council after the photographs were published, was also part of their investigation into her murder. “We have decided to widen the scope of the investigation and include Mufti Qavi in the probe,” Azhar Ikram, the police chief in the town of Multan, where Qandeel was killed, told Reuters.
On the other hand, Qandeel’s mother told Geo News that Mufti Qavi provoked her son into murdering her daughter. She accused Mufti Qavi, her daughter’s former husband Ashiq Hussain and a man name Shahid of being involved in the murder.
She claimed her son Waseem carried out the murder on the advice of Mufti Qavi, and that the cleric provoked him into killing Qandeel. She claimed Waseem was also in contact with Qandeel’s former husband.
She disclosed that at the time when Qandeel was murdered, their neighbours had spotted a suspicious bearded stranger outside the house. She said neighbours had informed her that the suspicious bearded person also went inside the house after some time.
In another important development, police confirmed that Section 311 had been added to the murder case, barring the family from pardoning the killer. According to CPO Azhar Akram, Section 311 had been added to the FIR, meaning qisas or pardoning cannot take place.
With the state becoming the plaintiff, Qandeel’s father would not be able to forgive his son and other suspects for his daughter’s murder, if at any point he decided to do so, the CPO explained.
Mufti Qavi has denied any involvement in Qandeel’s murder but told Reuters on Monday he would present himself to police for questioning if summoned. Mufti Qavi told media on Saturday Qandeel’s death should serve as an example for others who tried to malign the clergy, though he also stated that he had “forgiven her”.
Police were also investigating Qandeel’s other brother, Muhammad Aslam, who is a junior army officer, Ikram said. After Qandeel’s death, her father, Muhammad Azeem, filed a police report against both his sons, alleging Aslam had encouraged Waseem to carry out the killing. Police have declined to comment on Aslam’s role and he was not available for comment on Monday.