By: Imran Gabol
MULTAN: Popular social media celebrity Qandeel Baloch has been killed in Multan, becoming the latest victim in the spate of “honour killings” that plague the country.
The 26-year-old, who is popular for posting risque videos and statements on Facebook, was killed by her brother, Regional Police Officer Sultan Azam said on Saturday.
Qandeel strangled to death by her brother
Model asked for security three weeks ago
Police say brother killed over ‘honour’
Qandeel’s brother had been threatening her to stop posting photos and videos on Facebook, police added. Her brother fled after killing Qandeel, whose real name is Fauzia Azeem.
“Qandeel Baloch has been killed, she was strangled to death by her brother, apparently it was an incident of honour killing,” Sultan Azam, senior police officer in Multan, told AFP.
Earlier, TV channels reported that Qandeel was shot by her brother. Police have now confirmed she was “strangled to death” at her Multan residence.
Police added that Qandeel was in Multan for one week, and that forensic experts are examining the corpse to prepare a medical report.
No marks of torture were found on Qandeel’s body, said one senior police official. The post-mortem of her body is being conducted at Multan’s Nishtar Hospital.
Qandeel was in Multan to visit her parents as her father had been unwell, and spent Eid with her family. Her mother gave a statement to police.
Her brother, who was identified by the police as Waseem, went to meet her at night. When Qandeel was asleep at night, he strangled her.
City Police Officer Multan told DawnNews that the suspect will be caught soon. A police team has been dispatched to Dera Ghazi Khan to search for Waseem.
Request for security ignored
Three weeks ago, Qandeel had written to the interior minister, the director general of the Federal Investigation Authority (FIA) and the senior superintendent of Islamabad asking them to provide security to her and has requested action against those who made her identification documents public via social media.
She had said her life is in danger and that she is being threatened via calls on her mobile number and that she did not have security measures installed in her home.
She wrote: “I need security from you”.
Who is Qandeel Baloch?
Baloch, who became famous through her tireless self-promotion and suggestive “selfies” posted on social media, had amassed tens of thousands of followers.
“Nothing is good in this society. This patriarchal society is bad,” Qandeel had said in a recent interview with Images.
In one of her last Facebook posts, Qandeel reiterated her unapologetic approach: “No matter how many times I will be pushed down under… I am a fighter, I will bounce back.”
“Qandeel Baloch [is an] inspiration to ladies who are treated badly… I know you will keep on hating, who cares?” wrote Qandeel, who often referred to herself as a “one-woman army”.
She is derided and feted in equal measure in Pakistan, but the popularity of her videos evidence frustrations of many young people tired of being told how to behave.
She shot to fame in Pakistan in 2014.
Earlier this month, Qandeel released a music video which she starred in alongside little known 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.