Where to start with Qandeel Baloch?
Known for posting risque videos and selfies on Facebook and Instagram, the Pakistani model was easily the most talked about and controversial star of her time.
Never seen without her make-up, the 25-year-old gained popularity in recent months for her controversial selfies and subsequent televised spats with a noted Pakistani cleric and her widely trolled ‘twerk’ video, Ban, among other things.
As mystery shrouds the social media sensation’s death and her personal life, here’s a look at why Qandeel was the queen of controversy and some of her shocking moments.
1 In June, Qandeel uploaded selfies on her Facebook and Twitter accounts with cleric Mufti Abdul Qavi, which went viral. The Facebook celebrity and Mufti Qavi made an unlikely pair, but that’s not the only reason why their selfies stirred up a storm. The photos made headlines when their ‘controversial’ nature led to Mufti Qavi’s suspension from the religious Ruet-e-Hilal Committee as well as the National Ulema Mushaikh Council. The Facebook star claimed the Mufti had contacted her numerous times and she met him on his request.
2 In March, Qandeel announced her intention to perform a strip dance for Pakistan cricket captain Shahid Afridi if he succeeded in leading his team to victory in a World T20 match against India. (She’s not called Pakistan’s Poonam Pandey for no reason, eh?) She even launched a “trailer” of her performance before the match, promising “a full film” upon Pakistan’s victory. The video appeared to be the tipping point for Facebook users in Pakistan. Many seemed to have reported her page for nudity, resulting in a temporary block on her page. What’s more? After the Men in Blue edged out Afridi’s side, Qandeel took to social networking site Facebook and posted a video blasting the Pakistan team for their poor performance. She even went on to ask Afridi and his boys to not return home after losing to MS Dhoni and co yet again in a World Cup match.
3 In April, 2016, she shifted her attention from Afridi to Indian cricketer Virat Kohli. She made a steamy video where she bluntly asked Virat to leave his rumoured girlfriend, Bollywood actress Anushka Sharma, and be with her instead. Expressing her love for Virat, she called him “very charming”. “Virat Kohli is so charming, he is so handsome. During the India versus Pakistan match in Kolkata, the way he played I went crazy. Seriously, he should leave Anushka and think about me (in a very seductive tone). I would love to be with him. Virat I love you baby. Please, please, please, please leave Anushka. Leave her,” Baloch said in her video, where she signed off with her kiss.
4 It’s safe to say Qandeel was the second social media sensation from Pakistan (after Taher Shah) to be trolled outside the country. You might have missed it, but Qandeel was all over the internet and trending on Twitter for her controversial video, Ban. Qandeel Baloch and young singer Aryan Khan dropped a music video in early July, and it was everything people in Pakistan hoped it wouldn’t be. It featured her dancing suggestively to the song, which goes “Tere thumke de lag jaana ban”. That means, “your hip-shaking will be banned.” Featuring twerking (well, almost), a slashed bodysuit and lots of lace, the music video was classic Qandeel: very OTT (over The Top, if you will).
5 Recently, the internet sensation accepted that she had been married previously and had a child from that marriage. Speaking to Dawn, a man called Ashiq Hussain claimed early in July that he married Qandeel in 2008 and that the couple had a son who now lives with him. He also said that Qandeel’s real name was Fowzia Azeem. Ashiq says the marriage ended in 2009 and that, contrary to Qandeel’s claims, he never physically abused her.
6 Qandeel has also been in the news for her ‘love’ for Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf chief and Oxford-learned former cricket captain, Imran Khan. She had showed up at his house in Lahore’s Zaman Park after his rally in May and was quoted by media to be heartbroken after Khan did not meet her. After Khan’s third marriage rumours surfaced recently, Baloch didn’t agree that it was the right move for PTI leader and even said that he must have chosen her as his life partner.
7 When Qandeel was not being hailed as Pakistan’s Poonam Pandey, or making headlines for wanting to strip dance for the Pakistan cricket team during the World Cup in March, or exposing a mufti or engaged in a war of words with her former husband or openly expressing her love for Imran Khan, she talked about Amitabh Bachchan. In a recent interview, she said, “India mein main ek hi bande ki fan hoon — Mr Amitabh Bachchan. Virat Kohli is charming and handsome, but I would strip only for Mr Bachchan.”