Monday Jul 18, 2016

Mufti Qavi to be included in Qandeel Baloch murder probe

Mufti Qavi to be included in Qandeel Baloch murder probe

MULTAN/KARACHI: Prominent cleric Mufti Abdul Qavi, who made headlines last month for appearing in a video with model Qandeel Baloch, will be included in the murder investigation of the slain social media star, police said on Monday.

"We have decided to include Mufti Abdul Qavi in the murder investigation," said CPO Azhar Ikram, the police chief in Multan where Baloch was killed.

On Sunday, Qandeel’s brother Muhammad Waseem admitted to strangling her to death for the "honour of the family". Waseem said he gave a 'tablet' to Baloch to subdue her and then strangled her in their family home over the weekend.

"The scope of the investigation has been widened. The victim's brother, Aslam, will also be investigated. We are waiting for the forensic reports," said the CPO.

"As per our initial investigation 'honour' is the motive of murder," CPO Azhar Ikram said earlier.

Waseem said he killed his sister due to her social media activities, which included a series of posts with the prominent cleric, Mufti Abdul Qavi.

One video showed Qandeel shaking hands with Qavi as she sat on the arm of a sofa by his side.

Qavi, who was suspended from the Ruet-e-Hilal Committee in the controversy following the posts, told local media after Baloch's death he had "forgiven her" and the matter was now in God's hands.

Prior to her death Baloch, whose real name was Fauzia Azeem, spoke of worries about her safety and had appealed to the interior ministry to provide her with security for protection.

No help was provided and the interior ministry has not commented on her death.

In Facebook posts, Baloch, 26, spoke of trying to change "the typical orthodox mindset" of people in Pakistan. She faced frequent abuse and death threats but continued to post provocative pictures and videos.

The so-called 'honour-killing' has sent shockwaves across the country and triggered an outpouring of grief on social media for Baloch.