THE brother of Pakistani social media celebrity Qandeel Baloch confessed on Sunday to her murder, claiming to have done it for his family’s honor, as his sister’s behavior had been “completely intolerable”.
Waseem Azeem told police that on Friday night, he had given her a tablet and strangled her to death in the family home near Multan city in Punjab province.
He fled the scene after and was arrested on Saturday.
“I am a drug addict but I was in my senses when I murdered her and I accept it with pride. Now everybody will remember me with honor that I have provided relief to my parents and brothers who were suffering for the last two decades because of her,” he said, as quoted by The Express Tribune.
“Girls are born only to stay at home and to bring honor to the family by following family traditions, but Qandeel had never done that,” added Waseem.
Baloch, 26, whose real name was Fauzia Azeem, was known for posting bold, risqué videos and photos to her Facebook, which were criticized by the country’s conservative Muslim community.
She also recently caused a controversy when she posted photos of herself with a prominent Muslim cleric.
Despite receiving death threats and abusive comments on social media, Baloch refused to bow down to critics, identifying herself as a feminist.
In her last Facebook post, Baloch wrote:
“I am trying to change the typical orthodox mindset of people who don’t wanna come out of their shells of false beliefs and old practices.”
In a statement condemning Baloch’s murder, the Punjab Commission on the Status of Women said: “This horrendous incident is far from novel – women all over Pakistan are regularly targeted by their own families as well as society at large, for daring to express themselves or challenge decisions regarding their own lives.”
Over the weekend, Pakistani activists held protests in anger over Baloch’s death and the continued practice of honor killings.
— beena sarwar (@beenasarwar) July 16, 2016
— Faizan Lakhani (@faizanlakhani) July 17, 2016
Honor killings remain a common practice in Pakistan, with more than 500 victims – most of them women – of such killings each year, reported Al Jazeera. The killings are usually carried out by members of a victim’s family in retribution for “besmirching” the family’s honor.
In March last year, Pakistan’s senate passed a bill outlawing honor killings, which has yet to officially become law.
— Sharmeen Obaid (@sharmeenochinoy) July 16, 2016