A Pakistani court sentenced the brother of Qandeel Baloch to life in prison on Friday, September 27, for murdering her in 2016, in a high-profile honour killing case.
The court acquitted all the other men who were charged, including religious scholar Mufti Abdul Qavi, her other brother Aslam Shaheen, Haq Nawaz, Abdul Basit and Mohammad Zafar Hussain. The court also declared Baloch's other brother Arif as a fugitive. The convict, Muhammad Waseem, will be sent to Multan's Central Jail to serve his sentence, according to local media reports.
Her parents had accused Mufti of instigating the murder as he had slammed Baloch a month before her death. While Mufti had denied any involvement, he was removed from the state's religious affairs board, the National Ulema Mushaikh Council.
Qandeel, who was a social media star known for her provocative 'western' selfies and thoughts, was strangled to death by her brother in their house. Waseem alleged she brought 'shame' to the family.
The case received international attention after Waseem, expressing no remorse, told the press days after her murder that "ofcourse" he murdered his sister as he believed her behaviour was "intolerable".
Baloch's family had submitted an affidavit in court last month stating that they have forgiven the killers. Her mother Anwar Mai had told AFP that she hoped he gets acquited. "He is innocent. She was my daughter and he is my son," she said.
Bloch's murder also triggered a movement that shed light on the issue of honour killing in the country, where people are often killed for bringing "shame" to their families. Reports have suggested that the victims are largely women and are often killed for being "tainted" due to sexual abuse, or sexual relations outside marriage or refusing to enter into arranged alliances.
The Pakistan parliament passed legislation three months after Baloch's murder that mandated life imprisonment for those who commit honour killings.