The Multan bench of the Lahore High Court (LHC) has today acquitted Waseem Khan, the elder brother of slain model Qandeel Baloch, who was on trial for her murder. The accused Waseem Khan had been sentenced to life imprisonment in September 2019 by a model court in Multan. He had since been imprisoned in Multan Central Jail.
The lawyer of Waseem Khan had argued before the LHC on the basis of an affidavit submitted by Qandeel’s parents, which stated that they had “forgiven” the accused. Calling upon the court to quash the sentence earlier handed out to Waseem Khan, his lawyer said, “The witnesses in the case have also deviated from their statements in the trial court.” After hearing the argument, Justice Sohail Nasir of the LHC’s Multan Bench acquitted Waseem Khan in the case.
The 2019 verdict against the accused had come after his public confession of the murder of his sister. He had not only admitted to drugging and killing his sister when presented before a special magistrate, but had also confessed to the act before the media.
Qandeel Baloch Baloch, whose real name was Fauzia Azeem, had become known for being a social media celebrity who challenged conservative norms in Pakistan. Her brother Waseem Khan murdered her in 2016 in what was described as an “honour killing” after she had taken photos of herself with religious cleric Mufti Abdul Qavi. In 2019, the other suspects, including Mufti Abdul Qavi, Qandeel’s other brother Aslam and three other individuals had been released without charges.