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MULTAN: Police have included the name of Mufti Abdul Qavi as a suspect in the murder case of model Qandeel Baloch on the request of her father Mohammad Azeem.

City Police Officer Azhar Akram told Dawn on Friday that the Mufti’s name had been made part of the case after Azeem, the complainant, in his statement before the police, suspected the cleric’s possible role in the murder.

He said when a complainant pointed his finger at anybody, police were bound to investigate him under the law.

The CPO said police could arrest the Mufti when sufficient evidence against him was available.

Meanwhile, Cantonment SP Saifullah Khan Khattak said that the Mufti’s pictures with Qandeel Baloch had apparently led to her murder and police were probing this aspect as well.

Reacting, Mufti Qavi termed the police move unjustified. “When main suspect Waseem, Qandeel’s brother, had confessed to killing his sister and also disclosed the name of the other suspect, police’s insistence to drag me into the case is unfair.”

Qandeel Baloch was found dead in her house on July 16. She had apparently been killed by her brother for allegedly bringing disgrace to the family.

Waseem, who had earlier claimed that he was the lone killer, disclosed the name of his cousin Haq Nawaz as a co-suspect after the polygraph test.

Sardar Zafar Ahmed Khan, the counsel for the suspect, however claimed that all the arrested suspects, including Waseem, were innocent. He said Waseem did not confess to killing his sister before the magistrate while recording his statement under Section 164 of the Criminal Procedure Code.

“Similarly, the police do not have direct evidence of the murder and have only circumstantial evidence which is not sufficient to prove the arrested accused criminal,” he said.

Besides Waseem and Haq Nawaz who have been sent on judicial remand by the court, the police also got the remand of two other accused, Zafar Hussain, the cousin of Haq Nawaz, and Abdul Basit, a taxi driver.

Published in Dawn, August 13th, 2016