Qandeel Baloch

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Qandeel Baloch
Born Fouzia Azeem
(1990-03-01)1 March 1990
Dera Ghazi Khan, Punjab, Pakistan
Died 15 July 2016(2016-07-15) (aged 26)
Multan, Punjab, Pakistan
Cause of death Homicide by asphyxia (as an honour killing punishment)
Residence Karachi, Sindh, Pakistan
Nationality Pakistani
Other names Qandeel Baloch
Occupation Model, actress, activist, singer, television personality
Years active 2013–2016
Spouse(s) Ashiq Hussain (m. 2008)
Children 1

Fouzia Azeem (Urdu: فوزیہ عظیم‎; 1 March 1990 – 15 July 2016), better known by the name Qandeel Baloch (Urdu: قندیل بلوچ‎), was a Pakistani model, actress, and social media celebrity. Baloch rose to prominence due to her videos on social networks discussing her daily routine and various controversial issues.[1]

Baloch first received recognition from the media in 2013, when she auditioned for Pakistan Idol; her audition went viral and she became an Internet celebrity.[2][3] She was one of the top 10 most searched for persons on the internet in Pakistan and both celebrated and criticised for the content of her videos and posts.[4]

During the evening of 15 July 2016, Baloch was asphyxiated while she was asleep in the house where her parents live in Multan.[5] Her brother Waseem Azeem confessed to the murder saying she was "bringing disrepute" to the "family's honour".[6][7][8]

Early life

Baloch was born on 1 March 1990 in Dera Ghazi Khan,[9] Punjab. She hailed from Shah Sadar Din.[9] Qandeel belonged to an underprivileged family and had six brothers and two sisters. Her first job was as a bus hostess. [10]

Career

Baloch's fame was based on her social media posts – pictures, videos and comments. These were considered bold and outrageous by the largely conservative Pakistani community. Her most popular videos were those of her with her catchphrase "How em luking?"(How am I looking?) and those of her saying "Maire sar mai pain ho raha hai" (I'm getting a headache) in a funny and catchy tone. Her catchphrases became viral and were used by the Pakistani youth in enjoyment. They were also featured of dubbing social media site dubsmash and became widely popular among Indian and Pakistani youth alike.[4] Some international news media compared her to Kim Kardashian;[11] however, local commentators stated that she was more significant than Kardashian, as Baloch "went against the norms of society" and lived life on her own terms.[12] She started to appear on Pakistani talk shows regularly by 2014, either to perform songs or to discuss her rising social media popularity. During her life she served as digital manager at Neptuner Web Solutions[13] in 2016

In June 2016, Baloch met senior cleric Mufti Abdul Qawi in a hotel room to learn more about her faith; the interaction between them brought about mayhem on social media platforms as their photos went viral online.[14][15][16] She also wore a hat with the Mufti's signature.[17] The meeting led to the Mufti being suspended from his position on one of Pakistan's religious committees, and to Baloch being a regular on popular Pakistani current affairs and news programmes. She appeared on various popular Pakistani TV shows with senior anchors such as Mubashir Lucman. She would mostly be on talk shows debating with religious scholars on her western and controversial acts and lifestyle.[18]

A previous stunt which went viral on social media was her promise to strip dance for her followers and to dedicate her dance to cricketer Shahid Afridi if Pakistan won the Twenty20 match against India on 19 March 2016. She released a teaser on social media, which went viral, but Pakistan lost the match.[19] Some Indian media compared her with Poonam Pandey at this point due to her controversial personality.[20][21]

As her media presence grew, Baloch began to use her position to comment on women's position in Pakistani society. The week before she died, she released a music video entitled Ban, which mocked the restrictions placed on women in the country.[18] In an interview with controversial anchor Mubashir Luqman, Baloch named Sunny Leone, Rakhi Sawant and Poonam Pandey as her inspirations.[22] She also said that many organizations, people and media groups were calling her to feature in their shows to increase their own ratings.[23]

Security concerns

Following the June 2016 meeting with Qawi, Baloch kept a press conference and reported that she received death threats both from him and from others, and demanded police protection from the state.[18][24]

At around the same time, Baloch's ex-husband described in the media their brief marriage, revealing intimate details of their relationship. Baloch claimed her husband had been abusive, and cried publicly about the pain of the marriage.[12] Around 14 July 2016, Baloch spoke by phone to a reporter from the Express Tribune paper and stated that she feared for her life.[18] She told the reporter that she had sought protection from the police but on receiving no response, had decided to move abroad with her parents after the Eid al-Fitr holiday as she felt unsafe in Pakistan.[10]

Personal life

Baloch married Abid Hussain in 2008, aged 17, and had one son with him.[25][26] Baloch left her husband a year later, saying he was abusive.[10][27] There are reports Baloch was separated from a second marriage.[28]

Death

On 15 July 2016, Baloch was drugged and then asphyxiated by her brother Waseem while she was asleep at her parents' home in Multan.[10][29] Her death was reported by her father Azeem.[10][30][31] It was first reported as a shooting, but an autopsy report confirmed that Baloch was murdered by asphyxiation while she was asleep,[32] on the night of 15–16 July, around 11:15 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. By the time her body was found she had already been dead for between fifteen and thirty-six hours.[33] Marks on Baloch's body revealed that her mouth and nose were pinned shut to asphyxiate her.[12][34] Police said that they would investigate all sides of the murder including honour killing.[35]

A First Information Report against her brother Waseem and another brother Aslam Shaheen, who allegedly persuaded Waseem to kill their sister, was issued.[36][37] Baloch's father Azeem stated in the FIR that his sons Aslam Shaheen and Waseem were responsible for their sister’s death and had killed her for her money. Her father told the press "my daughter was brave and I will not forget or forgive her brutal murder."[38]

Waseem was arrested on the evening of 16 July. He confessed to murdering his sister, saying "she [Qandeel Baloch] was bringing disrepute to our family's honour and I could not tolerate it any further. I killed her around 11:30 p.m. on Friday night when everyone else had gone to bed. My brother is not involved in the murder."[6]

The state was named as complainant in the murder case, making it impossible for the victim's family to pardon the perpetrator [39][40][41] (see the Pakistani diyaa law).

FIR nomination against Mufti Abdul Qavi

Mufti Abdul Qavi's name has been mentioned in First Information Report (FIR) in an application of Qandeel's father Azeem.[42][43][44] He was already being investigated by the Multan police at the time of murder.[45]

Reactions

Baloch's murder was widely condemned by media celebrities and people around the globe,[46][47] while some in Pakistan were more inclined to support her murder.[48] Several personalities, including Madonna, Miley Cyrus, Rakhi Sawant, Imran Khan, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, Sharmila Farooqi, Abdul Razaque, Reham Khan, Sanam Baloch, Osman Khalid Butt, Meesha Shafi, Sabz Khan; UK Radio broadcaster on Allfm.org and Published author on Pakistani issues, Nadia Hussain, Ali Zafar,[49] along with many others condemned the incident,[50][51] including filmmaker and activist Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy who said, "I really feel that no woman is safe in this country, until we start making examples of people, until we start sending men who kill women to jail, unless we literally say there will be no more killing and those who dare will spend the rest of their lives behind bars."[52] She further said, "There is not a single day where you don't pick up a paper and see a woman hasn't been killed... this is an epidemic."[53]

British Prime Minister Theresa May also condemned the murder saying "there is absolutely no honour in so-called honour killings and they should be referred to as acts of terror."[54] May also said it was 'criminal' for women to be murdered by their male relatives on the grounds of defending family 'honour'.[55] The daughter of the Pakistani Prime Minister Maryam Nawaz announced that the government had finalized the draft law against honour killings in the light of negotiations and the final draft will be presented to a committee of joint session of parliament on July 21 for consideration and approval.”[56][57]

Vigils for Baloch were held in Lahore and Karachi.[58]

Legacy

Baloch's death has drawn mixed reactions from different sections of society in Pakistan. The largely liberal media including the DAWN group and the EXPRESS TRIBUNE have hailed her as a martyr for liberalism and right to shed clothes in public. Some called her death an honour killing and some think that the motive was money. An episode in the A-Plus Entertainment series Yeh Junoon was partially based on her life. The series starred Zhalay Sarhadi and Shamoon Abbasi in lead roles. Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy's untitled documentary film on her life is under production, that will be released in 2017.

On July 27. 2017, Urdu1 started to air a biopic television drama titled Baaghi (meaning "Rebel" in Urdu) based on Qandeel's life, where Saba Qamar plays her character. The first episode amassed more than 576,000 views on YouTube by the second day and more than 700,000 by the third.[citation needed]

In 2016, Dawn reported that Baloch biography page on Wikipedia was the fourth most read amongst Pakistani personalities in 2016.[59]

In March 2017, The British-Pakistani/Indian-American hip hop group Swet Shop Boys dedicated the track Aaja from their latest album in the memory of Qandeel Baloch. Recorded samples of her voice from her social media content is also used towards the end of the track.[60]

See also

References

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  2. ^ "Hilarious audition of Qandeel Baloch In Pakistan Idol". ABP Live. 23 March 2016. Retrieved 16 July 2016. 
  3. ^ "Desperate for instant fame, Pakistan model Qandeel Baloch, who had recently made headlines with her antics to gain popularity, now has come with another way of grabbing the limelight.". Siasat.pk. 24 March 2016. Retrieved 16 July 2016. 
  4. ^ a b "Qandeel Baloch murder: This video gives an insight into the Pakistani model’s life". 2016-07-16. Retrieved 2016-07-17. 
  5. ^ Gabol, Imran (16 July 2016). "Qandeel Baloch murdered by brother in Multan: police". Dawn News. Retrieved 16 July 2016. 
  6. ^ a b "Qandeel Baloch’s brother arrested, says he killed her for ‘honour’". Pakistan Today. 17 July 2016. Retrieved 17 July 2016. 
  7. ^ Karasin, Ekin (16 July 2016). "Pakistani Instagram star Qandeel Baloch 'strangled in honour killing by her brother for posting raunchy clips and photos'". Daily Mail (UK). Retrieved 17 July 2016. 
  8. ^ Reilly, Katie (16 July 2016). "Pakistani Model Qandeel Baloch Strangled by Brother in Apparent ‘Honor Killing’". Time (magazine). Retrieved 17 July 2016. 
  9. ^ a b Sindhu, Haider Ali (23 June 2016). "Qandeel’s Cinderella story: How a bus hostess from Shadun Lund became controversy queen in Karachi". en.dailypakistan.com.pk. 
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  13. ^ Web Solutions, Neptuner. "digital marketing manager". Neptuner web Solutions. 
  14. ^ "When Qandeel Baloch met Mufti Qavi: A guideline on how NOT to learn Islam". The Express Tribune. Retrieved 22 June 2016. 
  15. ^ Hussain, Fayyaz. "What really happened when Mufti Abdul Qavi broke his fast with Qandeel Baloch in a hotel?". Daily Pakistan. Retrieved 22 June 2016. 
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  17. ^ "Qandeel Baloch stirs storm with selfies". THE NEWS INTERNATIONAL. Retrieved 22 June 2016. 
  18. ^ a b c d Saifi, Sophia. "Pakistan social media star killed by brother". CNN. CNN. Retrieved 2016-07-17. 
  19. ^ "Qandeel Baloch: Pak model to strip if team win WT20 match against India". Hindustan Times. 18 March 2016. 
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  54. ^ Hughes, Laura (19 July 2016). "Theresa May says there is 'no honour' in so-called honour killings". The Telegraph. Retrieved 18 July 2016. 
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  59. ^ "Which Pakistanis dominated Wikipedia searches in 2016?". Dawn. 31 December 2016. Retrieved 1 January 2017. 
  60. ^ Swet Shop Boys - Aaja ft. Ali Sethi (Official Music Video). Youtube. 2 March 2017. Retrieved 31 August 2017. 

External links

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