Pakistani authorities have reportedly barred the family of murdered social media celebrity Qandeel Baloch from legally "forgiving" her brother for strangling her to death. The order came from the Punjab government, a police official said, adding that the family will not be able to use the forgiveness loophole that has allowed a number of such honour killings to go unpunished in the conservative country, Reuters reported.
After his arrest, Baloch's brother Muhammad Waseem had confessed to drugging and murdering the 26-year-old "over honour" and having "no regrets" about it. Their father Muhammad Azeem had filed a police complaint against two of her brothers, claiming that his other son had encouraged Waseem to kill his daughter.
Baloch's death has triggered calls for an anti-honour killing Bill to be passed post haste. Senator Sherry Rahman, who is an advocate for women's and minorities' rights, has urged the Pakistani national assembly to pass the Bill. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had earlier vowed to expedite the passing of the Bill, back in February.
The actor-cum-model, whose real name was Fauzia Azeem, shot to fame through her self-promotion and selfies posted on social media. She had tens of thousands of followers who praised her forthright attitude. In her final Facebook post on Friday, a day before hr murder, Baloch had said, "...I am trying to change the typical orthodox mindset of people who don't wanna come out of their shells of false beliefs and old practices."