The parents of murdered Pakistani social media celebrity Qandeel Baloch have refused to pardon their son for killing her and have called for capital punishment in the case, PTI reported on Wednesday. Baloch's father Muhammad Azeem said he would be happy if his son – Waseem Azeem – and three other accused for her murder were "hanged for their unforgivable crime".
"Waseem snatched from us our beautiful Qandeel," Muhammad said. Her mother Anwar Mai echoed Muhammad's sentiments, saying there was "no question of pardoning Waseem". Police, however, said that the two cannot pardon their son and the other accused in the case as the Pakistani government had become the plaintiff in the case.
Baloch's family had been barred from legally "forgiving" her brother for strangling her to death in July. The Punjab government in Pakistan had given the order, prohibiting the family from using the forgiveness loophole that has allowed a number of such honour killings to go unpunished in the conservative country.
On October 7, the Pakistan Parliament had unanimously passed an anti-honour killing Bill, which introduces stricter punishments for perpetrators of such crimes. According to the legislation, relatives of a victim can issue a pardon only if a killer is sentenced to death.
The actor-cum-model was killed by her brother in a case of honour killing on July 15. Baloch had become famous through her self-promotion and selfies posted on social media. She had tens of thousands of followers who praised her forthright attitude. Her father had filed a case against his son and said that another one of his sons had encouraged Waseem to murder her.