Dubbed Pakistan’s version of Kim Kardashian, Qandeel Baloch was a self-reliant woman who rose to fame in her country for standing up against the patriarchal form of society and repeatedly defended women’s rights. She was well known for posting what many called “raunchy” images of herself, and actively updated her Twitter with tweets such as

However, earlier this week, her promising career and resilient voice was cut short when her own blood, her brother Waseem drugged and strangulated her in her sleep in what is commonly known in Pakistan as an “honour killing”. Those (especially women) who “bring shame” to the name of the family are killed as society looks on, mostly with clandestine approval. Her brother feels no remorse. As he was arrested yesterday, after having escaped along with two accomplices, he told the media he killed her for “dishonouring the Baloch name”. He added that he gave her a tablet and strangled her as she slept, and that she wasn’t aware of her own murder being committed.

Qandeel is locally known as a rising star, with thousands of Twitter followers and over 700,000 Facebook likes to her page. Her most recent stint towards women empowerment is a song she starred in called “BAN”. She was hailed as Pakistan’s Kim Kardashian for resorting to sexual tactics for fame and being extremely active on social media.

Recently she stated she wanted to leave the country as she was facing security concerns. She had approached the interior minister, but her pleas were ignored. It was reported that she was going to make her Indian television debut on the country’s famous “Big Boss” show. However, her dreams, visions and future have been unceremoniously cut short.

Honour killings are common in a country like Pakistan that is strict to follow religious teachings and archaic laws. Women who speak up against patriarchal society, are “immodest” and appear regularly in the media are considered a shame. There might be justice for Qandeel, but her light burned out long before it had to.

She was buried in her hometown of Dera Qazi Khan. May her soul rest in peace.


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