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Qandeel Baloch—Victim of Murderous Mentality and Lacuna in the Law

So finally, this society of pious has managed to drag an overly exposed woman under the veil. For a blatantly bold woman like Qandeel Baloch; who had caused ripples in a stagnant and hypocritical society, such a veil was required that she could never take off. So they buried her — deep under the veil of soil.

Now the pious men of this society seem at peace. They think that she is no more to challenge the trembling traditions of this society from the veil of her grave. But let me say, they are wrong. They are wrong because when an innocent is silenced, his/her silence screams.  Qandeel’s forced silence will keep the critics of hypocrisy agitated and motivated to make this society more tolerant and peaceful.

As far as course of law is concerned, Qandeels brother is already behind the bars and has confessed that he had killed her to keep his so called honor intact. After this confession people are saying that it was a simple case of honor killing.  How could a case of killing a human being be termed as a Simple one? Is it as simple to kill someone? Unfortunately in Pakistan, it is. Especially, killing a woman only for the choices she made – has become a normal thing in our country.

According to statistics shared by some women rights activists, every year around 600 women are killed in the country by their own family members in honor related matters. The modus operandi of this diabolical act is that (mostly) a male member of the family kills the girl and other member forgives him, using a clause in the law that allows the family of the victim to make settlement with the murderer. As In the matter of honor killing both the victim and the murderer mostly belong to the same family, so matter stays in the family and once murderer is pardoned by his own relatives, state does not intervene further. This is how one gets away with killing innocent girls in Pakistan.

There is another, even uglier side of this picture too.

In some distant parts of the country people still resolve their disputes through tribal courts. To settle their score in family feuds, some falsely allege the woman of their own family to be involved in immoral activity with the man of the rival family and kill them both. Matter is taken to the Panchayat where killer is given big concessions because the crime was committed in the fit of rage and in the name of honor. In most of such cases, killer not only walks away free from any sentence but also regarded as more respectable in his clan.

In the chilling case of Qandeel’s murder, though her brother has confessed his crime and expressed the motive as well, there are some other speculations as well.

One’s assumption is that the day she took a ‘selfie’ with an already controversial cleric, she basically signed her own death warrant. After that episode, hard-line elements and sympathizers of the cleric wanted to make an example of her and eventually chose the “safe” passage of “honor killing” to get her killed by her brother.

Second theory speculates that in her pursuit of fame and quick money, she had got herself caught in the clutches of international betting and black mailing mafia. Such reports suggest that over a dispute they wanted to kill her and ultimately used his brother and paid him a huge sum of money to get the job done.

Last hypothesis says that Media got her killed. This theory says that Qandeel had been appearing on media since 2013 when she auditioned for Pakistan Idol. She had posted a lot of provocative stuff and yet her brother’s Ghairatt never mind that. But after certain ‘selfies’ with Mufti Abdul Qavi, media followed and dug her roots up. Reporters unethically made her family known to everyone and her brother could not handle this embarrassment and killed her.

If we analyze all these case scenarios, we can come to a conclusion that, whatever the actual cause of the crime was, murderous mentality of the society and the lacuna in the law made the killer’s task easy. So until we cleanse our society from this extreme mentality which takes killing as a sole remedy for every ill and plug the lacuna in the law about honor killing, such heinous acts would keep on happening.

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