The brother of slain Pakistani model Qandeel Baloch on Sunday confessed to strangling her for “family honor” because she posted “shameful” pictures on Facebook.
Baloch, who had become a social media celebrity in recent months, stirred controversy by posting pictures online taken with a prominent Muslim cleric. She was found dead on Saturday at her family home in the central city of Multan.
Police arrested her brother, Waseem Azeem, and presented him before the media in Multan, where he confessed to killing her. He said people had taunted him over the photos and that he found the social embarrassment unbearable.
“I was determined either to kill myself or kill her,” Azeem told The Associated Press as he was being led away.
He said that even though Baloch was the main breadwinner for the family, he slipped her sedatives the night before and then strangled her in her sleep.
“Money matters, but family honor is more important,” said Azeem.
Nearly 1,000 women are murdered in Pakistan each year for violating conservative norms on love, marriage and public behavior. The so-called “honor killings” are often carried out by family members.
Such killings are considered murder. But Islamic law in Pakistan allows a murder victim’s family to pardon the killer, which often allows those convicted of honor killings to escape punishment.
Regional police chief Sultan Taimuri said authorities will seek the maximum punishment for Azeem, without providing further details.
Baloch, whose real name was Fauzia Azeem, was buried Sunday.
She had shot to fame and notoriety through social media postings that would be considered tame by Western standards but were seen as scandalous by many in deeply conservative Pakistan.
video of her dancing to a popular rap song was widely circulated, and at the time of her death she had 40,000 followers on Twitter and 700,000 on Facebook. In postings and public comments, she presented herself as a symbol of female empowerment
She became embroiled in scandal earlier this month when she posted pictures taken with Mufti Abdul Qavi, a prominent cleric, in a Karachi hotel room during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan. In one picture, she is wearing the cleric’s trademark fur-lined hat.
Qavi maintained that he only met with her to discuss the teachings of Islam. But the government suspended Qavi and removed him from the official moon-sighting committee that determines when Ramadan starts and ends in accordance with the Islamic lunar calendar.
Baloch’s death produced a mixed reaction on the same social media outlets that helped fuel her popularity.
One poster on Twitter wrote: “A girl who decides to publish her naked pics for sake of publicity … what her brother is supposed to do?”
But Alizeh Tahir wrote on Facebook: “I am sad to hear the news of Qandeel Baloch’s murder. What saddens me more is the reaction of my nation. People who celebrate someone’s death are, probably, themselves dead inside.”
The leading daily newspaper Dawn published an editorial expressing the hope that Baloch’s murder would spark a national round of soul-searching and finally lead to the end to Pakistan’s ‘honor killing’ phenomenon. “The death of Qandeel Baloch conveys an insidious message: that women will be kept back at all cost; murdered, if they dare nurture ambitions to break the glass ceiling,” the newspaper stated. “Her murder, therefore, must serve as an impetus for legislators to renew demands for legislation to protect women who are threatened under false notions of ‘honor.’ ”
The Associated Press contributed to this article.
This is the ethos Obama is importing into the US. Do You want this in your neighborhood? In the house next to you? And Hillary, with her close ties to Saudi Arabia (“charity” donations, etc.), will only bring more of the same. Please do not vote for criminal Hillary.
Justin W says
So this murderer was living off his sister’s wealth and decided to kill her? Once again we see the inherent evil of Islam. This man was too much of a coward to confront his sister and commit his evil act while she was conscious. He drugged her and murdered her. Hopefully Pakistanis will open their eyes and recognize the evil nature of the religion they cling to.
This story highlights an important fact about Islam. Mohammed is a repurposed moon god. Allah is not the same god that is worshipped by Jews and Christians. The imam that was on the moon watching committee needs to realize that the god he worships is a pagan god that Mohammed chose when he was creating his religion.
Christian-Pagan Rob says
Justin, I think you need to study world religion 101 before you spout off. You have no idea what you’re talking about.
Before we blame someone for a wrong or sin, should we not look at our on life.
Jerry Tipton says
Lin, are you meaning the sleazy, cowardly, Pakistani, murderer of his sister? There is no “blame” aimed at the cowardly murderer ….it’s a “murder charge” admitted to!!! His sister was famous world wide therefore Pakistan should turn him over to a world court for punishment with no chance family will pardon him! Even the Muslim religion calls for a “life for a life”…….?……or does that not cover women? Muslim men must really fear women to make them adhere to such strict laws and they don’t have to.
extra judiciary killings are illegal in Islam (and in Pakistan) I am sad to say that the lady known as Qandeel Baloch appeared intoxicated (slurred voice, rambling, disorganized) in a few videos she put up. Substance abuse, in particular alcohol abuse is associated with more than 50 % of suicides, homicides, traffic fatalities right here in the USA. Can we use this loss of a young life to high light the dangers of substance abuse? It is possible that she belonged to the family she was financially supporting, however she looks so different from the rest of the family that it will take genetic testing to prove a relationship. Almost 100% of my female patients in rehab have been physically assaulted by their male partners. Lets improve laws to help American women who are victims of partner abuse. Perhaps fund more treatment centers for substance abusers and put them back to work ASAP…charge them for their treatment instead of tax payers. Just ideas to implement in the USA, Islamic law traditionally mandates of seventy lashes for intoxication. Such punishment will put addiction programs (and addiction doctors) out of business.