Pakistan’s social media celebrity Qandeel Baloch was killed allegedly by her brother in Multan in Punjab province, becoming the latest victim of “honour killings” that plague the country.
The 26-year-old actor-cum-model was killed in central district of Multan on Friday night, police said on Saturday.
Police said apparently she was killed by her brother named Wasim, who has fled after the incident.
“She was suffocated to death by strangulation. It seems to be a case of honour killing but we are investigating it,” district police chief Azhar Akram said.
Her real name was Fouzia Azeem but she chose Qandeel Baloch as her pseudonym after stepping into modelling.
She had received threats from her family to quit modeling and her provocative appearances on social media. Her brother had been threatening her over her Facebook posts and videos , said the police.
Three weeks ago, she had written to the interior minister, the director general of the Federal Investigation Authority (FIA) and the senior superintendent of Islamabad asking them to provide security to her, Dawn reported.
She had said her life is in danger and that she is being threatened via calls on her mobile number and that she did not have security measures installed in her home, the paper said.
Qandeel was media sensation and unbelievably bold and was also considered highly controversial. She shot to fame in Pakistan in 2014 after a video of her pouting for the camera.
She became famous through her tireless self-promotion and suggestive “selfies” posted on social media and had amassed tens of thousands of followers.
She had expressed her desire many times to marry ex-cricketer and opposition politician Imran Khan.
Her controversial pictures recently led to the suspension of Mufti Qawi’s membership from the Ruet-e-Hilal committee.
‘Honour’ killings on rise in Pakistan
The numbers of “honour” killings have risen sharply in Pakistan. Last year, 1,096 women and 88 men were killed in “honour” crimes in Pakistan, according to the independent Human Rights Commission of Pakistan.
In 2014, the number was 1,005 women, including 82 children, up from 869 women a year earlier.The true numbers are believed to be higher, with many cases going unreported, activists say.
Those who kill for “honour” are almost never punished in Pakistan. A law based on Islamic Shariah allows the family of a victim to forgive a killer, and in these cases the killers are almost always family. So other relatives give their forgiveness, unwilling to see loved ones jailed.
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