Islamabad: Internet sensation Qandeel Baloch was murdered by her brother in Multan on Saturday.
Initial reports suggest the actor cum model was shot dead by her younger brother. However, conflicting reports claimed she was strangled to death.
“Baloch was killed by her brother over honour in Muzaffarabad’s Green Town area,” the area’s RPO told The Express Tribune.
Baloch had fled to Multan but not disclosed her location due to security threats, the official added. “Qandeel’s brothers had asked her to quit modelling,” family sources said.
The internet sensation had earlier claimed she was receiving death threats and had sought security. However, following “no response” from the interior ministry on her application for getting personal security, social media starlet Qandeel Baloch is planning to settle down abroad after Eidul Fitr, citing security threats in the backdrop of her recent scandal with Mufti Abdul Qawi as the reason.
“I know I will not be provided security and I am not feeling secured here so have decided to move abroad with my parents after Eidul Fitr,” Qandeel had told The Express Tribune.
Fauzia Azeem alias Qandeel Baloch had recently taken the internet by storm as she shared a couple of selfies and a video of herself with Mufti Qawi, a former member of the Central Ruet-e-Hilal Committee. The self-proclaimed model had also ridiculed the cleric on various TV channels after the release of controversial content.
Baloch, who set in motion events that led to the suspension of Mufti Qawi’s membership from the Ruet-e-Hilal committee, was once married and has a young son.
On Wednesday, Aashiq Hussain of Kot Addu claimed in television interviews that he was once married to Baloch.
Soon after the interview appeared on television, Baloch admitted that she had married once but was divorced. However, both sides gave conflicting accounts of the marriage.
“My husband used to beat me up,” Baloch told Express News, adding that she had a son with Hussain.
“He never told my child I am his mother. It was a forced marriage.”
Baloch said she was 17 years-old when she married and that the abusive union ended in a year.
“He tortured me day and night during the one year I was married to him,” Baloch said while speaking to The Express Tribune. “After a year, I ran away with my son and sought refuge in Darul Aman.”
She went on to say that while she has not contacted Hussain after their divorce, she will now fight for custody of her son whom she initially gave up because she could not afford treatment when he fell sick.
Hussain, however, claimed that theirs was a love marriage. “I still have the letters which she wrote with her blood,” he claimed. “She wanted a car and bungalow from me.”
The 25-year-old model belongs to the tribal area of Shah Sadar Din of District Dera Ghazi Khan in south Punjab, and started her career as a bus hostess.
Her real name is Fouzia Azeem but chose Qandeel Baloch as her pseudonym after stepping into modelling.
She eloped with her boyfriend in 2004 while still in school, and claims to have visited South Africa, Middle East and other western countries.
Though she is reviled by many and frequently subjected to misogynist abuse online, Qandeel has won praise by a segment of youth for her forthright attitude.
On Valentine’s Day, she donned a plunging scarlet dress and posted a video message defying President Mamnoon Hussain, who had issued a stern warning against the “Western” holiday. The post garnered more than 70,000 ‘likes’.