State reviewing legal options in Qandeel murder case: Maleeka

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Parliamentary Secretary for Law Maleeka Bokhari on Saturday said that the state is undertaking a review of legal options in the light of laws and Supreme Court judgments in the murder case of social media star Qandeel Baloch, whose brother was acquitted by the Lahore High Court (LHC) earlier this week.

She said that honour killings of women and girls are a “black mark on our society”, and that the law has been amended to ensure that the murderer[s] of women “whether a celebrity or ordinary woman” does not walk free.

Before her murder, Qandeel garnered fame on social media through her posts and videos, which were deemed immoral by some.

Qandeel had posted Facebook posts in which she spoke of trying to change “the typical orthodox mindset” of people in Pakistan.

She faced frequent abuse and death threats but continued to post pictures and videos seen as provocative.

In 2016, her brother Muhammad Waseem drugged and then killed her, later admitting in a media conference organised by the police that he strangled his 26-year-old sister due to her social media activities.

Earlier on Monday, the LHC acquitted Waseem, abolishing the life imprisonment awarded to him by a sessions court.

The LHC’s Multan bench cancelled life imprisonment of the accused after witnesses deviated from their statements in the trial court and Qandeel’s mother submitted a reconciliation agreement stipulating parental pardon.

Waseem was accused of strangulating his sister in the name of honour.

He was arrested in July 2016 and awarded life imprisonment on September 27, 2019, by a court in Multan.

 

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