The state has filed an appeal in the Supreme Court challenging the acquittal of Qandeel Baloch’s murderer Waseem Baloch, a move that Parliamentary Secretary for Law Maleeka Bokhari said was an opportunity to set an important precedent in cases involving ‘such brutal murders’.
The parliamentary secretary made a statement on Twitter regarding the government’s decision
‘A number of innocent women are murdered under the false pretext of ‘honour’. Any decision which disregards evidence and is premised on weak interpretation of law cannot be allowed to set a dangerous precedent,’ Bokhari wrote.
She further added that Prime Minister Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) government ‘continues to stand for the protection of the rights of women and girls’.
Having served less than six years of his life sentence, Qandeel’s brother was released from prison in February 2022. His lawyer had argued before the Lahore High Court (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.
Waseem’s acquittal and the subsequent cancellation of his life sentence shocked and disappointed many across the country who had viewed his conviction as an expression of justice, however futile, for Qandeel.