Qavi admits cousin drove, owned car used in Qandeel murder

Police claim Mufti Abdul Qavi admitted his cousin drove the murder suspects to Qandeel Baloch's residence

Maimoona Saeed

MULTAN: Mufti Abdul Qavi, a suspect in the Qandeel Baloch murder case, has informed the police of his ties with the person who drove the murder suspects and the owner of the house where the social media star lived.   

According to police, Qavi, who has been in custody for investigation for 13 days, told officials that the owner and driver of the vehicle which brought Qandeel's murder suspects — her brother Waseem and cousin Haq Nawaz — from DG Khan to Multan and then brought them back is his cousin: Abdul Basit. 

Basit is a suspect in the case and out on bail. 

Moreover, Qavi, according to a senior police official, told police during investigation that the house in Multan's Muzaffarabad locality where Qandeel resided was owned by a close associate of his — Mohammad Nawaz.

It was through Nawaz that Qavi attempted to strike a deal with Qandeel's parents to drop his name from the murder case, it has been learnt. 

Police will produce Qavi in court today where it is expected that his physical remand will end and the suspect will be sent to jail on judicial remand. 

He was arrested on October 18 after his bail was rejected by the court.

Police have also conducted Qavi's polygraph test from the Punjab Science and Forensic Agency, Lahore.

At the last hearing of the case, Qandeel's parents had blamed Qavi for their daughter's murder.

Talking to the media before appearing in court on Monday, they said Qavi is responsible for the murder of their daughter and called for him to be punished.

Qandeel's brother Waseem and his cousin Haq Nawaz are in custody and the trial against them is under way. 

Qandeel Baloch murder case

Baloch, who shot to fame for her provocative selfies that polarised Pakistan, was allegedly strangled on July 16, 2016 by her brother Waseem.

In his 'confession', Waseem claimed she had brought shame on the family and owned up to his crime in a press conference after his arrest the same day. Waseem, Nawaz and Basit were indicted in Dec 2016 and pleaded not guilty. 

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.

In Facebook posts, Baloch, 26, spoke of trying to change "the typical orthodox mindset" of people in Pakistan.

Federal Minister for Religious Affairs Sardar Yousaf had suspended Qavi’s membership of Ruet-e-Hilal Committee after Baloch released pictures of herself with the cleric in a hotel room weeks before her murder, wearing his hat and pouting.

She had accused him of inappropriate behaviour.

"I thought I would expose him as he is in reality," she told AFP at the time, adding: "He is a different person alone and different when he has his followers around him."

She faced frequent abuse and death threats but continued to post provocative pictures and videos.

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