A judicial magistrate in Multan on Thursday issued non-bailable arrest warrants for cleric Mufti Abdul Qavi in the Qandeel Baloch murder case.
Judicial Magistrate Muhammad Pervez Khan issued the warrants for the cleric after Investigation Officer Noor Akbar said Qavi had not been appearing in court and was not cooperating with the investigation.
Subsequently, Qavi approached the court to secure bail. District and Sessions Judge Ameer Muhammad Khan approved the cleric's pre-arrest bail against a surety bond of Rs100,000 until Oct 17.
Police had included Qavi's name as a suspect in the murder case of the social media celebrity on the request of her father, Muhammad Azeem, the complainant in the case, who in a statement before the police suspected the cleric's possible role in her murder.
Mufti Qavi, while speaking to DawnNews today, claimed that he is "always in his seminary", and that he had cooperated whenever police had summoned him. "I don't understand why they issued these warrants for my arrest," he said.
He added that he had secured bail on the advice of his lawyer.
Model and actress Qandeel Baloch was found strangled to death in her house in Multan's Karimabad area on July 16, 2016. Her father claimed that she was killed by her younger brother, Waseem, in the name of honour.
Her brother Waseem was arrested by police in Dera Ghazi Khan later that night and confessed to killing her in the name of 'honour'. Accompanied by police at a press conference, Waseem alleged to have drugged and strangled her, saying that she "brought dishonour to the Baloch name" due to her risque videos and statements posted on social media.
"There are other issues as well... Like the maulvi issue," he said, in an apparent reference to a controversy last year about Qandeel's selfies with Mufti Qavi.
Qavi's selfies with Qandeel went viral on social media in 2016, causing a nationwide furore, after which the cleric's membership of the Ruet-i-Hilal committee and the National Ulema Mushaikh Council was suspended.