MULTAN: Parents of social media celebrity Qandeel Baloch have again submitted an affidavit to a local trial court, seeking acquittal of their two sons saying they have pardoned them over the murder of their daughter.

The affidavit was submitted by the defence counsel on behalf of Muhammad Azeem and Anwar Bibi, the parents of the slain model, who retracted their earlier statements against Qandeel’s brothers.

They stated that since Anti-Honour Killing Laws (Criminal Amendment Bill), 2015, which barred pardoning killers in such cases, was passed several months after the killing of their daughter, it could not be applied in this case.

They also denied the allegation that Qandeel was killed for the sake of honour and requested the court to acquit her brothers under section 245 of the Criminal Procedure Code.

The court, however, summoned lawyers of the prosecution to discuss the matter.

In January 2017, the Muzaffarabad (Multan) police had lodged an FIR under section 213 of the Pakistan Penal Code against the parents of Qandeel on the complaint of assistant sub-inspector Allah Ditta, the investigation officer, in which it was stated that Qandeel’s parents recorded their statements in court on Jan 19 and a few days later, on Jan 25, they submitted an affidavit. He said they had retracted their earlier statement against their elder son Aslam and there was a likelihood that they would do so in the case of the main accused Waseem, the younger brother of Qandeel, as well.

The IO further stated that he had seen the parents of Qandeel receiving an envelope (allegedly containing cash) from Aslam Shaheen outside the court. He stated that ‘I have fulfilled their demand. Now they should record their statement in the court in my favour’.

Published in Dawn, August 22nd, 2019