Brother of Pakistani social media celebrity and model Qandeel Baloch was arrested by the police on Sunday, reported Pakistan Today. Muhammad Waseem is accused of strangling his sister to death at her residence in Multan on Saturday.
The police announced Waseem’s arrest at a press conference in which Waseem confessed that he had murdered his sister for putting up ‘controversial’ pictures and videos on social media.
“She was bringing disrepute to our family’s honour and I could not tolerate it any further. I killed her around 11.30pm on Friday night when everyone else had gone to bed. My brother is not involved in the murder,” said Waseem to the media.
Qandeel Baloch, whose real name is Fauzia Azeem, was found dead at her house in Multan, Pakistan on Saturday and her brother had fled the crime scene.
The murder happened only three days after details about Qandeel’s three marriages in the past were revealed. She had also written to Pakistan’s Interior Ministry seeking protection but was not provided with any.
Qandeel, who enjoyed a following of tens of thousands on social media was one of the most controversial figures in the country and news of her murder also received mixed reactions from the people. While many condemned the killing, there was also a section which seemed ‘happy’ because they though she was a disgrace for the country.
Speaking to Al-Jazeera, Oscar winning filmmaker Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy said: “I’m very shaken up today. Activists in Pakistan have been screaming hoarse about honour killings; it is an epidemic, it takes place not only in towns, but in major cities as well. “What are we going to do as a nation?
There is also a growing call for a bill to put an end to honour killings in Pakistan. Sherry Rahman, a Senator and called for the national assembly to pass an anti-honour killing bill, Al Jazeera reported.
In a statement, reported by Al Jazeera, she said: “Assuming that Qandeel Baloch’s brother will probably be arrested and punished for murder because of the high profile [nature] of the case, the fact remains that an essentially right-wing government is sitting on vital amendments in the Pakistan Criminal Procedure Code that would disallow justice to be privatised for crimes against women.”