The brother of a murdered Pakistani celebrity said he killed her
after she refused to stop posting provocative photos and videos on
Muhammad Waseem said he was “not embarrassed” to have
killed Qandeel Baloch’s despite the death leading to calls for action
against the ‘epidemic’ of honour killings.
The strangling of Miss
Baloch, 26, a controversial figure in deeply conservative Muslim
Pakistan for posting selfies and videos that would appear tame by
Western standards, has prompted a wave of shock and revulsion.
brother was arrested late Saturday, Multan City police chief Azhar
Akram said, and confessed to drugging then strangling her ‘for honour’.
‘Yes of course, I strangled her,’ Waseem said at a press conference, organised by police, early Sunday.
‘She was on the ground floor while our parents were asleep on the roof top,’ he continued.
‘It was around 10.45 pm when I gave her a tablet… and then killed her.’
Waseem said he acted alone.
added: ‘I am not embarrassed at all over what I did. Whatever was the
case, it (his sister’s behaviour) was completely intolerable.’
Baloch, believed to be in her twenties and whose real name was Fauzia
Azeem, rose to fame for her Facebook posts that saw her praised by some
for breaking social taboos but condemned by conservatives.
She was killed on Friday night at her family’s home near Multan.
to 100 officers were gathered outside her family’s home in
Muzzafarabad, preventing neighbours from gathering. Five ambulances were
also parked nearby.
Pakistani police officers present Waseem
Azeem, the brother of slain model Qandeel Baloch, before the media
following his arrest at a police station in Multan, Pakistan. Photo / AP
The model shared hundreds of videos of her dancing in minimal clothing with her 123,000 Instagram followers.
Waseem went on the run and was arrested late Saturday in neighbouring Muzaffargarh district.
Hundreds of women are murdered for ‘honour’ every year in Pakistan.
killers overwhelmingly walk free because of a law that allows the
family of the victim to forgive the murderer – who is often also a
Filmmaker Sharmeemn Obaid-Chinoy, whose documentary on
honour killings won an Oscar earlier this year, slammed Miss Baloch’s
murder as symptomatic of an ‘epidemic’ of violence against women in
She joined other liberals in Pakistan who called for anti-honour killing legislation.
“Activists have screamed themselves hoarse,” she said. “When will it stop?”
But many conservatives pushed back, with some arguing online that her family would have had ‘no choice’.
of Miss Baloch’s more notable acts included volunteering to perform a
striptease for the Pakistani cricket team, and donning a plunging
scarlet dress on Valentine’s Day.
Initially dismissed as a Kim
Kardashian-like figure, Miss Baloch, whose funeral was held early today
near her family home in southern Punjab, was seen by some as empowered
in a country where women have fought for their rights for decades.
was an extremely astute individual who knew that what she was doing was
more than being the most loved bad girl of Pakistan,’ columnist and
activist Aisha Sarawari said.
She added: ‘[Her killing] defines yet another setback for the women of our generation. This makes it harder for women. Period’.
Jatoi, who works with the Aurat Foundation, a local NGO working on
women’s legal and political empowerment, added: ‘Many in Pakistan have
laid blame for her death on her bold and provocative public acts, but
for me her lifestyle was irrelevant.’
“Qandeel has put a face to
the countless ordinary Pakistani women that are murdered because society
has given carte blanche to men,” she added.
“It is not just the law that needs strengthening, it is also social attitude that needs to be reassessed.”
Baloch provoked controversy last month after posing for selfies with a
high-profile cleric Mufti Abdul Qavi, who was sternly rebuked by the
country’s religious affairs ministry.
The pictures showed Miss
Baloch wearing her traditional lamb’s wool cap as she posed next to the
cleric. Qavi later said she had asked him for a meeting and they met in a
On Valentine’s Day, she donned a plunging scarlet dress
and posted a video message defying the country’s president, who had
issued a stern warning against the ‘Western’ celebration. The post
garnered more than 70,000 likes.
Speaking at the time, she said:
“People are going crazy – especially girls. I get so many calls where
they tell me I’m their inspiration and they want to be like me.”
She had reportedly spoken of leaving the country after Eid out of fear for her safety.