In the socially conservative Pakistan, there are more than 1 000 crimes against women every year in so-called honour killings – and those are just the ones recorded.
Men frequently attack woman due to the way they express themselves, just like Muhammad Wasim did.
His sister, a Pakistani social media sensation often compared to Kim Kardashian, had made her name by uploading moderately sexual images and videos to the interwebs. Although not as risqué as her American counterparts, for her brother and many others the pictures were an embarrassment to their country.
Wasim strangled his sister Qandeel Baloch after she uploaded the below images to Instagram.
Shortly after his arrest, Wasim (below right) addressed reporters at a press conference:
“Yes of course, I strangled her.
“She was on the ground floor while our parents were asleep on the rooftop,” he continued, describing how he had given her a sleeping pill before killing her.
Wasim explained that his sister’s “intolerable behavior” is what drove him to murder her, and that her racy persona was bringing “dishonor” to the family.
“I am not embarrassed at all over what I did,” he said.
That outright nonchalant attitude is a common occurrence in Pakistan, as well as its neighbouring countries.
Baloch, whose real name was Fauzia Azeem, stood up for women’s rights, often sharing her views on her social media pages. In return, she got comments both praising and insulting her lifestyle choice. Here are just a few images:
Baloch also teamed up with singer Aryan Khan to feature in a music video, shamelessly “twerking” for the cameras:
Now, although authorities have charged Wasim with murder and are seeking the “maximum punishment”, in Pakistan murder carries only a potential death sentence. Under Islamic law, the family of the victim can pardon him.
We can only hope that the death of Qandeel Baloch was not in vain, and will bring more focus on the inhumane treatment of women in Pakistan and other countries.