On Monday (February 14), the Lahore High Court (LHC) acquitted the murderer of Qandeel Baloch, Muhammad Wasim, of all charges. Baloch (real name Fouzia Azeem) was a model and social media star who was drugged and strangled by her own brother Wasim on July 15, 2016, under the pretext of ‘honour.’
As per reports, Wasim was convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment in September 2019 by a Multan model court. It must be mentioned that the perpetrator had confessed to his crime on record before a special magistrate and expressed no remorse for killing his own sister for allegedly bringing disrepute to the family.
After spending less than 6 years in jail, Wasim has now been acquitted by the LHC. The development was confirmed by Sarderr Mahoob, the advocate for the perpetrator. Wasim was acquitted after his parents had pardoned him for killing his sister and the witnesses retracted their statements.
While speaking about the matter, advocate Saderr Mahboob claimed that the Multan trial court had ‘wrongly’ exercised its power in convicting his client. He pointed out that the perpetrator was convicted under Section 311 of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC), which is invoked after an accused is pardoned by the complainant/victim.
It must be mentioned that Wasim was pardoned by the deceased’s parents in August 2019, even though it was his father Muhammad Azeem Baloch who had initially lodged the murder case against Wasim and his 2 sons, Aslam and Arif.
The advocate for the murderer of Qandeel Baloch said that the Multan trial court relied primarily on Wasim’s confession, although most prosecution witnesses were cops and that it was not admissible under the existing law. The trial court had disregarded the ‘pardon’ of Wasim’s parents and had gone ahead with the conviction.
Prior to her death in 2016, Qandeel Baloch had talked about feeling unsafe and receiving death threats to The Express Tribune. She had plans to settle abroad with her parents after Eid-ul-Fitr of that year. The victim was married and had a young son.