Qandeel Baloch case: Brother held for celebrity’s murder


The brother of Pakistani social media celebrity, Qandeel Baloch, has been arrested for her murder.

Waseem Baloch, 25, was arrested in Dera Ghazi Khan in central Pakistan on Saturday night.

The Dawn newspaper said he had confessed to the murder, saying he drugged and strangled her “for dishonouring the Baloch name”.

Qandeel Baloch, 26, became a household name for posting sometimes raunchy photographs, comments and videos.

She recently caused controversy by posting pictures of herself alongside a Muslim cleric.

Media captionQandeel Baloch had a reputation for being Pakistan’s first social media celebrity

Dawn quoted police as saying her “selfies” with Mufti Qavi were one of the issues cited by her brother.

The paper quoted Waseem Baloch as saying: “She wasn’t aware I was killing her. I gave her a tablet and then strangled her.”

Police said the brother had fled to Dera Ghazi Khan after the killing in the Karimabad area of Multan early on Saturday morning.

They said he fled with two friends who were still being sought.

Ms Baloch in pictures alongside a Muslim cleric that appeared on social media
Image captionMs Baloch appeared alongside a Muslim cleric in images uploaded on to social media
Qandeel Baloch, Facebook pageImage copyrightREUTERS
Image captionMs Baloch has been bitterly critical of Pakistan’s patriarchal society

Ms Baloch rose to fame in Pakistan in 2014 when a video of her pouting at the camera and asking “How em looking?” went viral.

In a recent interview she was bitterly critical of Pakistan’s patriarchal society and described herself as a leading exponent of girl power.

While many younger people saw her as a cultural icon and hailed her liberal views, she was also subjected to frequent misogynist abuse online.

Her request for better security was ignored by the government, Dawn reported, despite pleas made three weeks ago to the interior minister and other senior officials.

Hundreds of women are murdered every year in Pakistan in so-called honour killing cases.

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