News broke yesterday of the tragic death of social media star Qandeel Baloch at the hands of her brother who murdered her in an ‘honour’ killing at their family home. Now the brother has spoken out about the disturbing events that took place and his lack of remorse.
Baloch, was a model and reality star, who became very well known and loved in the West for her posts regarding feminism. She was doing her part to end the stigmatisation of female sexuality and empowering women in a country that is extremely conservative.
While the West loved her for her bravery, she was obviously incredibly controversial in Pakistan and was often in the headlines.
Her brother, Wasim Azeem, killed her after he felt she had repeatedly embarrassed the family name with her actions. After strangling her in her sleep, he was arrested the following day in the neighbouring district of Muzaffargarh, and has now spoken openly about his motives. He said his sister’s videos were “objectionable” and “intolerable”, and that he was “not ashamed” of what he had done:
“Yes of course, I strangled her. I am not ashamed. We are Baloch and as Baloch we cannot tolerate this.
Money matters, but family honour is more important.
I was determined either to kill myself or kill her.
I am not embarrassed at all over what I did. Whatever was the case, it [Qandeel’s actions] was completely intolerable.”
He also explained how the killing took place:
“She was on the ground floor while our parents were asleep on the rooftop.
It was around 10.45pm when I gave her a tablet … and then killed her.”
His father Muhammad Azeem, was the one who turned him in to police. The father believes Wasim was acting on the instruction of his older brother, Aslam Shaheen. Both brothers have now been charged with murder, and local police said they would be seeking the ‘maximum punishment’ for Wasim.
What throws a spanner in the works here is that in Pakistan, an ‘honour killing’ means that the incident can be tried as a private offence, which allows the offender to be pardoned by the victim’s family. It’s shocking that every year, hundreds of women are murdered in honour killings for doing things that are considered normal in the western world- simple things like dating or wearing clothing of your choice. It truly is a tragic turn of events and unfortunately will continue to happen unless the country outlaws this archaic law altogether.
Photos via Google images.