Monday, February 6, 2023

Pakistan cleric to be included in Qandeel murder probe


Islamabad, July 18 (IANS) Prominent Pakistan cleric Mufti Abdul Qavi, who made headlines in June for appearing in a video with Qandeel Baloch, will be included in the murder investigation of the slain social media star, a police official said on Monday.

“We have decided to include Mufti Abdul Qavi in the murder investigation,” said a police official in Multan where Baloch was killed, Geo news reported.

On Sunday, Qandeel’s brother Muhammad Waseem admitted to strangling her to death for the “honour of the family”. Waseem said he gave a “tablet” to Qandeel to sedate her and then strangled her in their family home over the weekend.

“The scope of the investigation has been widened. The victim’s brother, Aslam, will also be investigated. We are waiting for the forensic reports,” said the police official.

“As per our initial investigation, ‘honour’ is the motive of murder,” the police official said earlier.

Waseem admitted that he killed his sister due to her activities on social media, including a series of posts with prominent cleric Mufti Abdul Qavi in which one video showed Qandeel shaking hands with Qavi as she sat on the arm of a sofa by his side.

Qavi, who was suspended from the Ruet-e-Hilal Committee as a result of the controversy following the posts, told the local media after Qandeel’s death that he had “forgiven her” and the matter was now in God’s hands, Geo news reported.

Prior to her death, Qandeel, whose real name was Fauzia Azeem, spoke of worries about her safety and had appealed to the Pakistan Interior Ministry to provide her with security for protection.

No help was provided and the Pakistan Interior Ministry has not commented on her death.

In Facebook posts, Qandeel, 26, spoke of trying to change “the typical orthodox mindset” of people in Pakistan. She faced frequent abuse and death threats but continued to post provocative pictures and videos.

The so-called “honour-killing” has sent shockwaves across the country and triggered an outpouring of grief on social media for Qandeel.

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