Qandeel Baloch’s brother Waseem Azeem not only confessed to killing his sister in a so-called “honor killing,” but he also bragged to police that he is “proud” that he killed her. According to CNN, in his confession, Azeem stated that he killed his sister because “girls are born to stay home.” After drugging and strangling Qandeel on Friday, Azeem initially ran from the scene but was later caught and arrested.
He stated, “I am proud of what I did. I drugged her first, then I killed her. She was bringing dishonor to our family”.
— BuzzFeed News (@BuzzFeedNews) July 17, 2016
Earlier this month, Qandeel Baloch appeared in the music video for the song “Ban” by Aryan Khan, where she mocked the standards her society imposes on women. The video got a lot of attention for its very racy content, and it is reported that her brother was getting tired of his friends sending him the videos and pictures of his sister and mocking him. After the video’s release, Baloch experienced another scandal, when it was revealed that she had previously been married and that she had a child.
BBC News reports that Qandeel Baloch’s parents stated the social media star was supporting her entire family, including the brother who killed her, with the money she made online. In fact, in an interview with Dawn.com shortly before she was murdered, Baloch (real name Fauzia Azeem) revealed that she paid the dowry for her sister’s wedding, bought her parents a house, and purchased her own home. She also revealed that she had divorced her husband because he was abusive and that she was not allowed to see her child.
— Sufi♡ (@chocobody11) July 18, 2016
Waseem Azeem told police that the final straw for him came after Baloch posted selfies and video online of her with prominent Muslim cleric Mufti Abdul Qavi. The pictures and video appear to show Baloch sitting on Qavi’s lap and wearing his hat, and she went on to claim that he had behaved inappropriately during their meeting. Qavi was suspended from a senior government committee over the incident and denied acting inappropriately.
Azeem told police, “I planned this after her scandal with the mufti and was waiting for the right time.”
According to CNN, he went on to say that he earned his place in heaven by bringing honor to his family.
Baloch claimed that she had received death threats from Qavi after she posted the controversial video and images, and she told the Express Tribune that she had applied to the interior ministry for personal security. After receiving no response to her request, she told the publication that she planned to settle down abroad with her parents due to concerns for her safety.
According to Reuters, Qavi is being investigated in connection with the murder. He has denied any involvement in her death, however, he did say that it should serve as an example to people who try to malign the clergy.
Qandeel Baloch considered herself a feminist and frequently posted on social media that she didn’t care if people loved her or hated her — she was going to do what she wanted to do. Her brothers were not supportive of her attempts to break free of the patriarchal society she grew up in, and despite benefiting from her fame, they continued to threaten her and try to force her to stop.
Every year, there are more than 5,000 honor killings worldwide, according to the Honour Based Violence Network. BBC News reports that 1,100 women were killed in honor killings in Pakistan alone last year, and these are just the reported numbers. While Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif publicly condemns these so-called honor killings, the unfortunate reality is that very few of these cases ever make it to trial or result in a conviction.
[Photo by Asim Tanveer/AP Images]