Social media celebrity Qandeel Baloch was murdered at the house of Mufti Abdul Qavi’s close friend, police told a court on Monday.
Besides, Qandeel’s father told the court that his daughter was murdered on Qavi’s orders. During a hearing of the murder case at the Multan district and sessions court, the investigation officer sought time to submit the charge-sheet. Judge Ameer Muhammad Khan gave him until November 20 for submitting the final charge-sheet. Qandeel was strangled to death by her brother Muhammad Waseem and cousin Haq Nawaz in the name of ‘honour’ in July last year, weeks after posting selfies with Qavi on social media.
Waseem, who had confessed to his crime, was produced in the court along with Nawaz on Monday. Azeem, Qandeel’s father, was also present during the hearing. Azeem alleged that his daughter was killed on Qavi’s orders and that the Mufti had offered him [Azeem] money to drop charges against him [Mufti]. “I will never forgive Mufti Abdul Qavi and want Qandeel’s murderers to be brought to justice,” Azeem told the court. Qavi was arrested last week after a court rejected an extension to his pre-arrest bail. The police declared Qavi as a suspect in the case at the request of Azeem.
Qavi was, meanwhile, produced in the court of a local judicial magistrate where he maintained his innocence. He told the magistrate that he had done nothing illegal and that whatever had happened was on the record. The investigating officer requested the magistrate for a two-day extension in the cleric’s remand, saying the police was awaiting results of Qavi’s polygraph test which would determine the direction of further investigation. The magistrate was granted the request. Model and actress Qandeel Baloch – born Fouzia Azeem – was found strangled to death in her house in Multan’s Karimabad area on July 16, 2016. At that time, her father had claimed that she was killed by Waseem, her younger brother.
Waseem was arrested by the police in Dera Ghazi Khan later that night and confessed to killing her sister in the name of ‘honour’. At a press conference organised by the police, Waseem confessed to have drugged and strangled her. Two more accused in the case, taxi driver Basit and Aslam Shaheen, another brother of the deceased, are on bail, while Arif, yet another accused, had been declared a proclaimed offender. Qandeel’s selfies with Qavi last year went viral on social media, causing a nationwide furore, after which the cleric’s membership of the Ruet-e-Hilal Committee and the National Ulema Mushaikh Council was suspended. -tribune