The social media has been continually buzzing about the controversial public figure Qandeel Baloch’s murder case, orchestrated by his brother in Multan on July 16th, 2016. The social media sensation was 26-years old. Being a Pakistani, it is my sole responsibility to report what is right; that said, Qandeel Baloch was not a victim of an honor killing. She was murdered. There is a clear difference between the two terminologies. It goes without saying that Pakistan’s media is sugar coating Qandeel’s honor killing for murder.
I, for one am tremendously outraged by many Pakistanis who take law into their own hands. The media is purposely mistaking Qandeel’s murder for an honor killing, which was never the case. Let me explain what really happened to Qandeel Baloch. According to her family’s statement which was later retracted, Qandeel spent Eid holidays with her family. Later one night, her siblings requested for some money which Qandeel refused to give. In consequence, she was murdered by one of her brothers. They used a pillow and strangled her to death. One of the brothers was an accomplice. Hence, this was a case of first degree murder and NOT an honor killing. It was a preplanned strategy orchestrated by her jealous, money-hungry family. Although I strongly condemned Baloch’s personality and views, I know that murdering her was not the answer. No human reserves the right to end a person’s life. Qandeel Baloch’s family should be held accountable for her murder. Recent rumors had circulated on the social media that Baloch would be leaving Pakistan soon.
Although Qandeel’s problem was her own, she faced severe backlash for posting controversial videos on her Facebook page. Moreover, the model’s character was often questioned on national television. She gained further notoriety for starring in a recent music video titled ‘Ban’ which accumulated over one million views in a week’s time. I, for one did not support Qandeel when I first heard of her from one of my friends, however, after watching a few of her interviews on television, I learned that she was just being herself; and there is nothing wrong with that. Call her a liar, traitor or obnoxious, Pakistan was in desperate need of a public figure as outspoken as Qandeel. Why, you ask? Living in a culture as dire and subjugated as Pakistan’s, Qandeel managed to break free and spoke her mind using the power of the social media.
In conclusion, it is incredibly important to shed light on her case as Pakistan’s media strays from reality and often reports news stories that are enormously sensationalized. Honor killing might be a problem in Pakistan but it is oftentimes misinterpreted. Qandeel Baloch’s entire family should be apprehended for murdering her. Her family hailed from Multan and very little has been disclosed about Qandeel’s background. Many also claimed she was not a Baloch. Hence, I refuse to accept that she was a victim of honor killing. The social media, along with Pakistan’s media rhetoric surrounding her questionable death remains a problem for the country. Many unheard stories are covered without substantiated evidence or proof. The media adheres to its policies and line of action without considering both sides of the story. The untold stories of millions are unheard of and sidelined. Unless or until the gap between the elite and lower-middle classes is not bridged, the truth will remain buried in the ground.