Brother of social media star Qandeel Baloch gets life imprisonment for her murder

The brother of Pakistani social media star Qandeel Baloch has been jailed for life, three years after her murder.

Waseem confessed to strangling his sister Qandeel in July 2016. After committing the crime he said the star had brought shame on the family.

He was reported to be upset by pictures she had uploaded to social media.

On Friday, a court acquitted six other men charged in connection with the killing, including religious scholar, Mufti Abdul Qavi.

Baloch’s family had initially pointed the finger at the Mufti, saying he had instigated the murder after he was criticised for taking selfies with the social media star a month before her death.

However, he has always denied any involvement.

The court added another brother, Arif, a fugitive in relation to Baloch’s death.

Waseem is able to appeal against the sentence.

“He is innocent,” Anwar Mai the mother told reporters before the sentence was handed down. She and her husband tried to free Waseem last month, saying they forgave their son for killing their daughter.

Qandeel Baloch was Pakistan’s first social media star. She was born Fouzia Azeem, and came from a poor family in a town about 400 km south-west of Lahore. She is often dubbed as the Kim Kardashian of Pakistan, she had hundreds of thousands of followers on social media. She posted images and videos of herself twerking and singing, breaking strict taboos in conservative Pakistan.

As she became popular, she was paid to promote products on her social media accounts and appeared in music videos. Following her rise to fame in 2014, it emerged that she had been married as a teenager and had a child. But she claimed her husband was a “savage man” who abused her and she fled with her son.

In 2016, she was invited to meet Mufti Abdul Qavi in Karachi during the holy month of Ramadan. She posted selfies with him to her social media accounts. In one image, she is wearing his signature sheepskin cap.

Mufti was criticised for behaving inappropriately by associating with a disreputable woman. He was humiliated and his membership of a religious committee revoked. Soon after their meet Baloch was found dead in her bed. Her brother Waseem said he drugged and then strangled her “for dishonouring” the family name.

Source : Various

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