Pakistan bars Qandeel’s family from ‘forgiving’ son for honour killing
Pakistani authorities have barred the family of a murdered social media celebrity from legally “forgiving” their son for strangling her, sources said, in a rare stand against the so-called practice of “honour killings”.world Updated: Jul 20, 2016 00:58 IST
Pakistani authorities have barred murdered social media sensation Qandeel Baloch’s family from “forgiving” her brother for strangling her under an Islamic law, taking a rare stand against “honour killings”.
Police in Qandeel’s hometown of Multan confirmed that Section 311 of the Pakistan Penal Code had been added to her murder case, barring her family from pardoning the alleged killer under the “Qisas and Diyat” law.
City police chief Azhar Akram said the Islamic law, whereby the family or heirs of the victim can pardon the murderer, could not be applied in Qandeel’s case after police added Section 311, through which the state becomes the plaintiff.
Qandeel’s brother Muhammad Waseem drugged and strangled her on Friday in a murder that shocked the conservative Muslim nation, where the 26-year-old had titillated and outraged people with her racy social media photos and videos.
Waseem, after being arrested on Monday, said he had no regrets because his sister had dishonoured the family by making a controversial video with Mufti Abdul Qavi.
Qandeel’s father would not be able to forgive Waseem and other suspects in his daughter’s murder if he decided to do so at any point, Akram explained. Under Section 311, the discretion of accepting a pardon from the victim’s family is left to the judge handling the case.
Akram said police were investigating everyone who had been in contact with Qandeel before she was murdered.
The scope of the probe has been expanded to include the starlet’s parents and Qavi, whose selfies with Qandeel had appeared on social media last month and stirred a controversy that cost him membership of two religious bodies.
Qandeel’s mother has accused Qavi of instigating her sons – Shahid, Aashiq and Waseem – against her daughter.
A local police officer said Qandeel’s father had changed his statement thrice.
The autopsy report has also contradicted the time of the murder given by Qandeel’s parents in the first information report. The autopsy conducted by doctors at Multan’s Nishtar Hospital found the murder was committed between 9pm and 10 pm on Friday, while rescue services were alerted at 11 am on Saturday morning.
The parents had claimed Waseem murdered Qandeel sometime between 2am and 3am on Saturday.
The murder once again swung the spotlight on the phenomenon of “honour killings”. The independent Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) has reported nearly 1,100 women were killed in 2015 by relatives who believed they had dishonoured their families.
In 2013, 869 women died in honour-related attacks while the figure for 2014 was about 1,000. In its 2015 report, the HRCP said 900 women suffered sexual violence and nearly 800 took, or tried to take, their own lives.