Waseem Azeem, the brother of Qandeel Baloch, a convicted murderer, is going to walk free in Pakistan. For those of you who are unfamiliar with this issue, Waseem Azeem is the brother of Qandeel Baloch, who is also a murderer. This is a situation I don’t recall. Qandeel Baloch was a social media celebrity in Pakistan who was known for her wild lifestyle that often defied prevailing societal conventions. In July 2016, her brother strangled her to death because he wanted to restore his family’s honour.
She was Pakistan’s first social media star a figure of intense fascination and outrage and some adored her for breaking social taboos others reviled her for her rebellious nature they would call her Pakistan’s Kim Kardashian was someone who lived on her terms.
The price she paid for doing so was her life on the 15th of July 2016 Qandeel Baloch was strangled to death as she slept at her parents home in Multan it was an honor killing was killed by her brother Wasim Azeem later said that he had no regrets or remorse because her sister’s behavior was intolerable.
He was sentenced to life imprisonment but barely six years on he’s about to walk free and he has been acquitted cleared of all charges. The reports say he has been pardoned by his family is that even legal in Pakistan it has been for quite some time the Islamic law in Pakistan has long allowed a murder victim’s family to pardon an accused but that law has been amended so it’s unclear how Wasim has been set free.
A lawyer says this acquittal was prompted after key witnesses withdrew their testimonies whatever be the case a heinous crime has been overturned and a convicted killer is being set free the news has infuriated Pakistan’s civil society people are questioning the loopholes in the country’s judicial system.
They want the court order to be made public last we checked the court had refused to give further details this sets a wrong precedent Pakistan has the highest number of documented honor killings per capita in the world about one-fifth of the world’s honor killings is committed here that’s about a thousand honor killings out of the 5,000 per year globally women have killed for their relationships their behavior and their morality perceived to be not in line with the fundamentalists.
Qandeel Baloch was one such woman she was shunned and killed for killing patriarchal norms her story and struggle should have propelled critical reforms in Pakistan but the acquittal of her killer has proven that Pakistan and reform remain parallel roads.
(Image Source: NewsWeek Pakistan)