Pakistani social media celebrity Qandeel Baloch, who recently stirred
controversy by posting pictures of herself with a prominent Muslim
cleric, was strangled to death by her brother, police said Saturday.
parents told police one of her six brothers strangled her to death as
she slept in the family’s home in Multan, police spokeswoman Nabila
Ghazanfar told The Associated Press.
Multan police chief Akram
Azhar said police were searching for the brother, identified by the
family as Waseem Azeem, who runs a local cellular phone shop.
Pakistani Instagram star Qandeel Baloch. Photo / Supplied
“Apparently the lady died of suffocation but final opinion
on her death would be possible only after report of chemical examination
comes,” said Dr. Mushtaq Ahmed, who was among the team that conducted
Baloch’s autopsy. “She might have been given some poisonous substance
before being strangled.”
Baloch, whose real name was Fauzia Azeem, shot to fame and
notoriety with a series of social media postings that would be tame by
Western standards but were deeply scandalous by conservative Pakistani
societal norms. She cultivated an outrageous public persona, recently
promising to perform a public striptease if the Pakistani cricket team
won a major tournament.
In this picture taken on June 28, 2016,
Pakistani fashion model Qandeel Baloch speaks during a press conference
in Lahore, Pakistan. Photo / AP
Baloch built up a large social media fanbase, with 40,000
Twitter followers and more than 700,000 followers on her official
Facebook page. Baloch danced in a racy (again by Pakistani standards)
video for a popular rap song that immediately went viral. In postings
and public comments, she presented herself as a symbol of female
empowerment in a country where domestic violence is commonplace and
hundreds of women are murdered by family members each year in so-called
On Friday, the day she was killed, she posted a
picture with the message, “No Matter how many times i will be pushed
down under,,But I m Fighter I will Bounce back..
Pakistani police officers stand beside
volunteers unloading the dead body of fashion model Qandeel Baloch upon
arrival at a local hospital in Multan, Pakistan. Photo / AP
On July 14, she posted the following: “As a women we must
stand up for ourselves..As a women we must stand up for each other…As a
women we must stand up for justice. I believe I am a modern day
feminist. I believe in equality. I need not to choose what type of women
should be. I don’t think there is any need to label ourselves just for
sake of society. I am just a women with free thoughts free mindset and I
LOVE THE WAY I AM. :)”
Most recently, Baloch became embroiled in
public scandal when she posted selfies with Mufti Adbul Qavi, a
prominent cleric, in a Karachi hotel room during the holy Islamic month
of Ramadan. In one picture, she is wearing the cleric’s trademark
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
In the wake of that scandal, Baloch said she had received death threats and asked for Interior Ministry protection.
Model and social media celebrity, Qandeel Baloch,who is known as
Pakistan’s Kim Kardashian, was allegedly killed by her brother in
apparent honour killing, police have said. The 26-year-old was allegedly
killed by her brother Waseem when she visited her parents in Multan.
Police spokeswoman Nabila Ghazanfar says police were alerted to the
killing Saturday and are investigating the crime. Sultan Azam, senior police, said:
“Qandeel Baloch has been killed, she was strangled to death by her brother, apparently it was an incident of honour killing.”
According to local sources, Waseem was upset about her social media
posts and had previously threatened her about it. Family sources said
her brother had asked her to quit modelling. Her parents said she was
killed after the pair had a fight.
Police said Waseem had not been arrested because he is on the run.
Ms Qandeel, whose real name is Fauzia Azeem shot to fame on social media by posting risque photos, video and comments online.
In March, she released a video promising to perform a striptease dance
if the Pakistani cricket team wins in the World Twenty2 cricket
The controversial starlet recently offended many conservatives by
posting pictures of herself with Mufti Qavi, a prominent cleric, on her
Facebook account, which went viral. She said the two of them enjoyed
soft drinks and cigarettes together during the daylight hours in the
holy month of Ramadan, when practicing Muslims fast from dawn to dusk.
Qavi denied the allegations, saying he only met with her to discuss the
teachings of Islam. He was quoted as saying in Pakistani media that the
meeting took place on the request of the model.
The model, however, gave a totally different version for their meeting,
telling Pakistani media that the meeting took place on his request as
maulana (scholar) wanted to see her before the Eid moon. She was also
seen wearing maulana’s Jinnah cap in the selfie.
Recently, the young model tried to approach Pakistan Tehri-e-Insaf
chairman Imran Khan during a rally to propose him for the marriage. But
she was blocked by the party worker, hence she wasn’t able to reach
The death of Ms Qandeel comes just three weeks after she wrote to the
interior minister, the director general of the Federal Investigation
Authority (FIA) and the senior superintendent of Islamabad asking them
to provide security for her.
In the plea the social media celebrity said her life was in danger and
that she was being threatened via calls on her mobile number and that
she did not have security measures installed in her home.
“I need security from you” she wrote.