The parents of social media star Qandeel Baloch — who was murdered allegedly by her brothers — on Wednesday submitted an affidavit in a Multan court, saying they have forgiven the killers and the case against their sons should be thrown out.
Baloch's brother Waseem had strangled her to death in the name of "honour" at their house in 2016. He later confessed to have killed her because she allegedly “brought dishonour to the Baloch name” with her risque videos and statements posted on social media. Her brother Aslam Shaheen was also nominated in the case.
In the affidavit, submitted in a model court in Multan, Baloch's parents stated that they have forgiven her alleged murderers and asked the court to acquit them.
The affidavit said that the Anti-Honour Killing Laws (Criminal Amendment Bill) 2015 — which prevents killers from walking free after being pardoned by the victim's family — was passed months after Baloch was murdered and, therefore, cannot be applied to her case.
The legislation mandates life imprisonment for honour killings, but whether a murder can be defined as a crime of honour is left to the judge's discretion.
The affidavit also said that the allegations that Baloch was killed for "honour" were "contrary to facts" and asked the court to acquit the suspects under Section 345 of the Code of Criminal Procedure.
The court, in response, summoned the lawyers representing the prosecution in the murder case as well as the counsel for Baloch's parents.
The slain social media star's parents had once before also requested the court to wrap up the murder case, saying they had forgiven both their sons, but their appeal was dismissed with the judge citing the anti-honour killing law.
After the law was passed in October 2016, Baloch's parents had initially vowed not to forgive the alleged murderers.
“There is no pardon from our side,” Baloch’s father Mohammad Azeem had told AFP and called for his son and the three co-accused to be punished “at the earliest”.
“They should get life imprisonment or death — I will feel happy,” he had said at the time.