Pakistani police have declared a known cleric as a ‘suspect’ in the murder of social media celebrity Qandeel Baloch and is likely to arrest him, a media report said on Saturday. “Mufti Abdul Qawi’s name has been made part of the Qandeel murder case on the statement of her father,” senior police officer Azhar Akram told Dawn newspaper.
“The cleric’s suspected role in her murder cannot be ruled out,” he said, adding police can arrest the cleric when sufficient evidence against him is available.
Qandeel was killed soon after her controversial pictures with Qawi appeared on her Facebook account. She had received death threats from Qawi’s followers for allegedly disgracing him. Qandeel was found dead in her house on July 16. Muhammad Waseem, her brother, confessed to have strangled her in a so-called ‘honour killing’.
Waseem, who had earlier claimed that he was the lone killer, disclosed the name of his cousin Haq Nawaz as a co-suspect after the polygraph test. Besides Waseem and Haq Nawaz who have been sent on judicial remand by the court, the police also got the remand of two other accused, Zafar Hussain, the cousin of Haq Nawaz, and Abdul Basit, a taxi driver.
Qawi is upset over his name being included in the suspect list saying when Qandeel’s brother has confessed to her killing and also disclosed the name of the other suspects, police’s insistence to drag him into the case is unfair. “I have already replied to a police questionnaire and now again raising fingers at me is not justified,” Qawi said.