Pakistani Activist and Social Media Star Qandeel Baloch ‘Murdered By Her Brother’ In So-Called ‘Honour Killing’

She was well known for sharing her outspoken feminist views

Pakistani Activist and Social Media Star Qandeel Baloch 'Murdered By Her Brother' In So-Called 'Honour Killing'

by Chemmie Squier |
Published on

Pakistani feminist activist, social media influencer, actor and model Qandeel Baloch, was killed at her family home on Friday night. Her 25 year old brother, Waseem Azeem, was arrested on Saturday after going on the run, and has since confessed to drugging and strangling her.

According to The Express Tribune, at a press conference her brother said ‘Whatever was the case, it [his sister’s behaviour] was completely intolerable. After the videos with Mufti Abdul Qavi had gone viral on social media, I planned to murder her and was only waiting for the best moment.’

Mufti Abdul Qavi is a Muslim cleric who Qandeel (real name Fouzia Azeem) had posted pictures with on social media. These sparked controversy and Qavi was suspended from his position. Qandeel said she had began receiving death threats after this and feared for her life and had planned to 'move abroad' with her parents after she appealed to the interior ministry for personal security but received 'no response'. Earlier on today police confirmedthat they are also investigating Qavi in connection to Qandeel's murder.

Her brother went on to say that ‘Whatever was the case, it (his sister’s behaviour) was completely intolerable. After the videos with Mufti Abdul Qavi had gone viral on social media, I planned to murder her and was only waiting for the best moment.’ He also said, 'I am not ashamed. We are Baloch and as Baloch we cannot tolerate [this].’

Qandeel had amassed a large social media following after speaking out about female empowerment and independence and condemning the misogyny which permeates much of Pakistan's society. Her outspoken nature and 'provocative' pictures and online presence have drawn criticism from some of the Pakistani community. A few weeks ago Qandeel released a music video called *Ban *which caused controversy because of her outfit and her dancing as well as her mocking of the patriarchal society in which she grew up. She has also spoken out about her forced and abusive marriage which occured when she was 17 years old.

Qandeel's social media pages are full of empowering messages to women. On her

three days ago she wrote:

'No Matter how many times i will be pushed down under,,But I m Fighter I will Bounce back..#‎Qandeel #‎Baloch is "One Women Army".. #Qandeel #Baloch inspiration to those ladies who are treated badly and dominated by the society..I will Keep On Achieving and I know You will Keep On Hating..DAMN but Who Cares.'

Her father, Mohammad Akeem said, 'She was my son, not a daughter. I have lost my son. She supported all of us, including my son who killed her,' Dawn reports. According to Al Jazeera, her father has filed a case against Waseem as well as testifying against another of his sons who he claims encouraged the killing.

In a move that suggests that Pakistani law is beginning to recognise these abhorrent crimes, the state has become a complainant in Qandeel's murder, transforming the First Information Report ((FIR) a written document written produced by police in the event of a non-cognisable offence) was turned into a non-compoundable FIR meaning that Qandeel's family, if they so wished, would not be able to pardon her killers.

Qandeel was buried in her ancestral village on Sunday and residents of the village have condemned the murder.

Sadly, these so-called 'honour killings' are not rare with 1,000 of them taking place in Pakistan every year according to the Honour Based Violence Awareness Network.

Shockingly some people on social media have even celebrated her death, believing that her behaviour was shameful.

Quandeel Baoch Biography

Quandeel Baloch was born Fouzia Azeem, one of 12 siblings born in a small town in a conservative, feudal district of the Punjab. She as married off in her late teens - walking out of the marriage a year and a baby later, when she said it became abusive.

And so Quandeel Baloch, the social media sensation was born - releasing videos where she writhed suggestively on beds or promised to ‘strip dance’ if Pakistan beat India at a T 20 cricket match. She even poked fun at the Mullahs - posting a selfie of herself with Mufti Qavi, a member of a government funded religious committee while she wore his hat at a jaunty angle.


Instagram: QandeelBalochquebee

Her ability to expose the hypocrisy of her biggest critics and plaster the evidence over social media quickly made her an internet sensation.

Quandeel Baloch Pakistan Idol

Quandeel Baloch first came to public attention when she auditioned for Pakistan Idol - a spin off of American Idol. She didn’t even make it past the first audition in front of three judges. But it was her response to her rejection that launched the video on Facebook - where she was roundly mocked for her over-the-top reaction.

She quickly leveraged her new-found fame and soon had thousands of fans on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

Quandeel Baloch Parents

Quandeel Baloch’s father, Mohammad Azeem told reporters that Quandeel 'supported all of us, including my son who killed her,' lodging a report with police accusing her brother of killing her, and another brother of being complicit in the murder.

Quandeel Baloch’s mother, Anwar Bibi has condemned her son, Waseem Azeem for the murder of Quandeel - also blaming the media and his friends for their role in her murder. ‘The main problem was caused by the media. They created an issue for the whole world. Everyone found out. Relatives, others, people we didn’t know would say things against Qandeel. They would say there are pictures of Qandeel, Qandeel is naked, Qandeel is this or that,’ she said in an interview with the Wall Street Journal. ‘Her brother would get very angry.’

Before her Quandeel Baloch’s parents lived in a rented home on the outskirts of Multan. Although traditionally sons provide financial support for their parents in Pakistan, Quandeel supported her parents, sending them $300-$400 in Pakistani rupees each month.

Quandeel Baloch Family

Quandeel Baloch had five brothers, several of whom she is said to have helped financially. Her brother Waseem Azeem is accused of her murder - and apparently acted at the behest of his older brother Mohammad Aslam Shaheen

Quandeel Baloch Instagram

Quandeel’s Instagram account @qandeelbalochquebee had 70,000 followers

Quandeel Baloch Twitter

Quandeel Baloch’s Twitter account @QandeelQuebee had 47,000 followers

This article originally appeared on The Debrief.

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