Model killed after offending conservatives
Pakistani fashion model Qandeel Baloch, who recently stirred controversy by posting pictures of herself with a Muslim cleric on social media, was strangled to death by her brother, police said yesterday.
Her parents told police that one of her six brothers strangled her to death as she slept in the family's home in Multan.
Baloch, whose real name is Fauzia Azeem, was little known until recently, when she offended many conservatives by posting pictures of herself with Mufti Qavi, a prominent cleric.
She said the two of them enjoyed soft drinks and cigarettes together during the daylight hours in the holy month of Ramadan, when practising Muslims fast from dawn to dusk.
The pictures and allegations caused a scandal in conservative Pakistan, and the government removed Qavi from the official moon-sighting committee that determines when Ramadan starts and ends in accordance with the Islamic lunar calendar.
Qavi denied the allegations, saying he only met with her to discuss the teachings of Islam. Earlier this month, Baloch sought protection from government, saying she was receiving anonymous death threats.
Hundreds of Pakistani women are murdered by family members each year in so-called honour killings, which are seen as punishment for violating conservative norms.