How Qandeel Baloch’s Leaked Personal Details Led to Her Murder
Qandeel Baloch knew how to work it. Whether she was stomping her sky high heels around the Pakistani Idol set, or standing up for herself during a TV debate around her controversial strip tease.
Qandeel Baloch was incorrigible. Shamed and demonised for her “bad manners” and “disrespecting the Baloch surname,” the social media star was irreverent. Swivelling her chair around, she declares,“Haan, main badtameez hoon”
Qandeel Baloch was fearless. “I don’t care what people say, let them bark,” she said when asked about the social media outrage she provoked. This, as producers of the show introduced an unnecessary blurry patch over her cleavage. That she’s standing up to a moral science lecture by another woman makes her look like a greater champion than she probably realised she was.
But in the ten days leading to her death, Qandeel Baloch was scared. Her identity documents had been anonymously leaked online, prompting her to write to Pakistan’s Interior Minister Chaudhary Nisar Ali Khan on June 28, requesting security.
So far, she’d been safe posting provocative selfies and videos, sparking mostly derision and a few laughs not just in Pakistan, but across the world. But suddenly, she stood exposed as Fouzia Ameen.
Demanding to know how her credentials had been obtained from the National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) and the Passports and Immigration Department, she wrote “ such steps were destroying my image in show biz.” She claimed she had started receiving threat calls which were making her “extremely tense and depressive.”
Earlier in June, a man claiming to be her divorced husband came forward on live TV and claimed “she wanted a bungalow and a car from me and wrote letters in blood begging me to take her back.”
Shortly after that, Qandeel confessed that she’d been forcibly married to Aashiq Hussain at 17 and that they even had a child together. “He tortured me day and night in the one year I was married to him,” she claimed.
How Honour was at Stake
Qandeel Baloch’s life was slowly unravelling. She stood exposed in a cutthroat conservative society where the family’s “honour” trumps all. To escape, she bought tickets to fly her parents and herself abroad, presumably Dubai. She was visiting her home in Multan one last time, before she moved permanently.
Her brother Aslam Shaheen, who’s a Naib Subedar in the Pakistan Army, provoked Waseem to kill Qandeel for “bringing shame upon the family.”
It is within that one week, on the night of July 15, that her own brother snuffed the life out of her. The brother who was happy to feed off Qandeel’s hard earned money all these years was suddenly prompted to kill her for “honour” as the family’s identity was exposed all over social media.
The biggest threat for Qandeel, as is the case with many women in Pakistan and in India, was lurking in what she thought were the safe confines of her home.