Qandeel Baloch: Pakistani social media star strangled by her brother

Qandeel Baloch, one of Pakistan's most famous and controversial social media stars, has been strangled to death in what police are calling a case of so called "honor" killing in the city of Multan in the country's province of Punjab.
Azhar Akram, Multan's chief police officer, told CNN that Baloch was killed by her brother in her family's home after he had protested at the "kind of pictures she had been posting online."
After going on the run, the brother was later arrested and confessed on a video that police showed at a news conference.
'Honor killings': Why Pakistan must act against this brutalityBaloch's father Muhammad Azeem reported her death to the police.
Baloch, 25, was from the Punjabi town of Kot Addu and had risen to fame due to the brazenly sassy, and increasingly political, videos that she had started posting on Facebook.

Her videos were not very different from thousands others shared by 20-something social media celebrities around the Internet -- she pouted like a kitten into the camera, discussed her various hairstyles and shared cooing confessions from her bedroom about her celebrity crushes.

Baloch pushed boundaries

Yet in Pakistan, her flirty antics were unusual, pushing the boundaries of what's acceptable of women in Pakistan. According to the World Economic Forum's 2015 Gender Gap Report, Pakistan was second to last on the list of 145 countries with regards to gender disparity.
Baloch was both adored and reviled. Unlike more conventional Pakistani female celebrities -- who found fame portraying pious damsels in distress on television and film -- her videos were not slickly produced, her English was not flawless and she was curvaceous and self deprecating.
She had nearly 750,000 followers on Facebook, where her videos went viral but were also the subject of much debate and discomfort. In recent weeks, several of her posts encouraged her audience to challenge old practices of Pakistani society. In a July 14 post, Baloch referred to herself as a "modern day feminist."
Hamna Zubair, the culture editor of Pakistani newspaper Dawn, told CNN that she had received much criticism for carrying pieces on Baloch. One commentator asked her if she would be "reporting from a brothel" next.
Baloch tightly controlled her narrative in the media. She shared little about her personal life and was something of an enigma; nobody really knew which city she was based in.
She found fame and slipped into the national consciousness after declaring that she would perform a live strip tease online if Pakistan won a cricket match against arch rival India.
As her media profile grew, Zubair said Baloch became aware "of her power to deliver a certain message about being female in Pakistan," and that she had become a "burgeoning activist for increasing women's visibility" in the country.

Clergy controversy

She made more headlines after posting selfies on her Instagram account with Mufti Abdul Qavi, a senior member of the clergy. The bizarre pairing led to frenzied media coverage and resulted in Qavis's suspension from his post on one of Pakistan's religious committees.


Qandeel Baloch: Pakistani social media star strangled by her brother Qandeel Baloch: Pakistani social media star strangled by her brother Reviewed by on 12:50:00 AM Rating: 5

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