Police late on Saturday announced they had arrested Muhammad Waseem, the suspected murderer of social media celebrity Qandeel Baloch.
The police made the announcement in a press conference where the alleged killer was also presented before the media.
Responding to reporters’ questions, Waseem said that he had killed his sister Qandeel, whose real name is Fauzia Azeem, for posting controversial pictures and videos on Facebook.
“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 the murderer before being taken away by the police.
Police had earlier said that Qandeel’s brother had been threatening her to stop posting photos and videos on Facebook. According to some reports, the murderer had escaped with Qandeel’s wallet, jewelry and cell phone.
“Qandeel Baloch has been killed, she was suffocated to death by her brother, apparently it was an incident of honour killing,” Regional Police Officer Sultan Azam had told reporters.
No marks of torture were found on Qandeel’s body, said another senior police official. The post-mortem of her body was conducted at Multan’s Nishtar Hospital.
Qandeel was in Multan to visit her parents as her father had been unwell, and spent Eid with her family, her mother told police.
Her brother, who was identified by the police as Waseem, went to meet her at night. When Qandeel was asleep at night, he suffocated her by using a pillow.
Qandeel’s father Azeem stated in the First Information Report to the police that his sons Aslam Shaheen and Waseem were responsible for their sister’s death.
Azeem said that Aslam allegedly provoked Waseem to kill Qandeel as she reportedly “brought disrepute to the family”. Aslam is currently serving in the army as a Naib Subedar, reads the FIR.
The complainant further said that his sons killed Qandeel for her money.
“My daughter was brave and I will not forget or forgive her brutal murder,” he said.
Request for security ignored:
Three weeks ago, Qandeel 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 and has requested action against those who made her identification documents public via social media.
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.
She wrote: “I need security from you”.
Who is Qandeel Baloch?
Baloch, who became famous through her tireless self-promotion and suggestive “selfies” posted on social media, had amassed tens of thousands of followers.
“Nothing is good in this society. This patriarchal society is bad,” Qandeel had said in a recent interview with Images.
In one of her last Facebook posts, Qandeel reiterated her unapologetic approach: “No matter how many times I will be pushed down under… I am a fighter, I will bounce back.”
“Qandeel Baloch [is an] inspiration to ladies who are treated badly… I know you will keep on hating, who cares?” wrote Qandeel, who often referred to herself as a “one-woman army”.
She is derided and feted in equal measure in Pakistan, but the popularity of her videos evidence frustrations of many young people tired of being told how to behave.
She shot to fame in Pakistan in 2014.
Earlier this month, Qandeel released a music video which she starred in alongside little known young singer Aryan Khan. Titled ‘Ban,’ the music video touched on Qandeel’s status as a controversial social media icon, and was provocative given Pakistan’s conservative standards for entertainment.
Days later a man claiming to be Qandeel’s ex-husband made an appearance on TV, saying that Qandeel had a son with him during their brief marriage.
Qandeel confirmed his claims, saying she was forced into the marriage.