MULTAN: Popular social media celebrity Qandeel Baloch has been killed in Multan, becoming the latest victim in the spate of “honour killings” that plague the country.
Qandeel, who is popular for posting bold videos and statements on Facebook, was killed by her brother, Regional Police Officer Azam Sultan said on Saturday.
Qandeel’s brother had been threatening her over her Facebook posts and videos, said the police. The brother fled after killing Qandeel, whose real name is Fauzia Azeem.
Police added that Qandeel was in Multan for one week, and that forensic experts are examining the corpse to prepare a medical report.
Earlier, TV channels reported that Qandeel was shot by her brother. Police are now saying she was “strangled to death” at her Multan residence.
Qandeel asked for security
Baloch, who became famous through her tireless self-promotion and suggestive “selfies” posted on social media, had amassed tens of thousands of followers.
“Nothing is good in this society. This patriarchal society is bad,” Qandeel had said in a recent interview with Images.
Three weeks ago, Qandeel had written to the interior minister, the director general of the Federal Investigation Authority (FIA) and the senior superintendent of Islamabad asking them to provide security to her and has requested action against those who made her identification documents public via social media.
She had said her life is in danger and that she is being threatened via calls on her mobile number and that she did not have security measures installed in her home.
She wrote: “I need security from you”.
Qandeel’s rise to fame
Baloch is derided and feted in equal measure in Pakistan, but the popularity of her videos evidence frustrations of many young people tired of being told how to behave — her videos have been viewed more than 830,000 times, and garnered thousands of times.
She shot to fame in Pakistan in 2014 after a video of her pouting for the camera.
Earlier this month, Qandeel released a music video which she starred in alongside young singer Aryan Khan. Titled ‘Ban,’ the music video touched on Qandeel’s status as a controversial social media icon, and was provocative given Pakistan’s conservative standards for entertainment.
Days later a man claiming to be Qandeel’s ex-husband made an appearance on TV, saying that Qandeel had a son with him during their brief marriage.
Qandeel confirmed his claims, saying she was forced into the marriage.