Car of Mufti Qavi’s Cousin Used in Qandeel Baloch’s Murder

Mufti Abdul Qavi who is a suspect in the Qandeel Baloch murder case has reportedly told police that he is related to the driver of the vehicle which transported the murder suspects as well as the owner of the house where Qandeel lived. Qavi, who has been in police custody for investigation for 13 days, told the officials that the owner and driver of the vehicle which brought Qandeel’s murder suspects — her brother Waseem and cousin Haq Nawaz — from DG Khan to Multan and then brought them back is his cousin, Abdul Basit.

Basit is a suspect in the case and out on bail. The cleric during the investigation also told the police that the house in Multan’s Muzaffarabad locality where Qandeel resided was owned by a close associate of his — Mohammad Nawaz. It was through Nawaz that Qavi attempted to strike a deal with Qandeel’s parents to drop his name from the murder case, it has been learnt. Qavi will be presented before the court later today where it is expected that his physical remand will end and the suspect will be sent to jail on judicial remand. After his bail was rejected, the police arrested the cleric on October 18. Police have also conducted Qavi’s polygraph test from the Punjab Science and Forensic Agency, Lahore.

At the last hearing of the case, Qandeel’s parents had accused Qavi of murdering their daughter. Talking to the media before appearing in court on Monday, they said Qavi is responsible for the murder of their daughter and called for him to be punished. Qandeel’s brother Waseem and his cousin Haq Nawaz are in custody and the trial against them is underway. Model Qandeel Baloch, who rose to fame for her provocative selfies that polarised Pakistan, was strangled in July by her brother Muhammad Waseem for “bringing shame on the family”. He had confessed to his crime in a press conference after his arrest. Prior to her death, Baloch, whose real name was Fauzia Azeem, was concerned about her safety and had appealed to the Interior Ministry to provide her with security.

No security was provided and the Interior Ministry has not commented on her death. In his confession, Waseem claimed she had brought shame on the family and confessed to his crime in a press conference after his arrest. Later, a polygraph revealed that Waseem had help from his cousin Haq Nawaz and few others. Federal Minister for Religious Affairs Sardar Yousaf suspended Mufti Qavi’s membership of Ruet-e-Hilal Committee after Baloch released pictures of herself with the cleric in a hotel room weeks before her murder, wearing his hat and pouting. She had accused him of inappropriate behaviour. “I thought I would expose him as he is in reality,” she told AFP at the time, adding: “He is a different person alone and different when he has his followers around him.” She had faced frequent abuse and death threats. The ‘honour-killing’ of Qandeel Baloch had sent shockwaves across the country and triggered an outpouring of grief on social media.

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