Mufti Qavi to ‘help those languishing in prisons’

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Our Correspondent

Multan

Cleric Mufti Abdul Qavi, an accused in the Qandeel Baloch murder case who was Tuesday released on bail, on Wednesday announced that he planned to “help those languishing in prisons”. “Today is my day of freedom and I am very happy. However, I will be happier when the [Qandeel Baloch murder] case reaches its logical end,” Qavi said while addressing the press in Multan, a day after a district and sessions court in Multan approved his bail.
“It has been 17 months since Qandeel passed away, yet the case has not been resolved,” Qavi noted during his press conference. He had been arrested in connection with the murder case on October 18. He was picked up on the way to Jhang after he fled a court in Multan which had turned down his request for extension of his pre-arrest bail.
The cleric was released on Tuesday — having spent 27 days in custody — after District and Sessions Judge Ameer Muhammad Khan approved his bail against surety bonds worth Rs0.2 million. Qandeel was murdered last year, allegedly by her brother Mohammad Waseem, who said he killed her in the name of ‘honour’.
The slain celebrity’s father has accused Qavi of being complicit in the murder. During his Wednesday press conference, Qavi claimed that he has co-operated with the police and answered all their questions throughout the investigation. He said he had “complete faith” in the judiciary and will accept the court’s decision.
“I slept well in jail,” Qavi said during his press conference, but nonetheless urged civil society and non-government organisations to step forward to assist prisoners. “I ask Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf to transfer those prisoners, against whom cases are not currently pending, to their province (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa).”
Qavi also said he “salutes” Awami Raj Party MNA Jamshed Ahmed Dasti, who served a stint in prison earlier this year. Dasti was arrested on June 9 for his alleged role in instigating people to open a sluice gate of the Kalu headworks channel after a prolonged drought in the area. “I will help those who are in jail, I will play a role in their freedom,” Qavi said.
“I will not engage in politics, I will only help those in prison.” 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. Her father claimed that she was killed by her younger brother, Waseem, in ‘the name of honour’. Waseem was arrested by police in Dera Ghazi Khan later that night and confessed to the crime.

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