Multan: A local court rejected on Thursday a request by the parents of slain social media celebrity Qandeel Baloch to pardon her brothers, who are currently under trial for allegedly murdering her.
An affidavit, submitted by Muhammad Azeem and Anwar Bibi, parents of Qandeel, in the trial court, stated that they had forgiven killers in the name of Allah and therefore case against their sons should be withdrawn.
Qandeel was allegedly strangled to death by her brother Waseem in connivance with his brother Aslam Shaheen and others in Multan in 2016. Waseem had confessed to his crime during the investigation and told police that he killed her in the name of honour.
The parents of Qandeel argued in their affidavit that Anti-Honour Killing Law was passed several months after the murder of their daughter and therefore it was not applicable to this case.
However, the court turned down their request to pardon their sons. The court ruled that the case regarding murder in name of ‘honour’ would be decided once the testimonies of all witnesses were recorded.
The court adjourned the hearing of the case until August 24. Additional District and Sessions Judge Imran Shafi said in the order, issued on Thursday, that the question before the court was that either the murder of Fouzia Azeem alias Qandeel Baloch was the result of honour killing or not, and the legal heirs/ parents of the deceased could be allowed to enter into partial compromise to the extent of their sons.
Qandeel Baloch was allegedly killed by her brother Waseem on July 15, 2016, and at that time the parents were demanding punishment for the accused. However, last Wednesday, they filed an application for giving their two sons Waseem and Aslam Shaheen in the murder case.
Their application came up for hearing before Model Court Judge Imran Shafi Thursday. The judge said that 19 witnesses had recorded their witnesses, while the statement of accused Waseem was also on record under Section 164 CrPC. Therefore, at this stage, the court could not reach the conclusion that the murder of Qandeel Baloch was an honour killing, as claimed by the prosecution, the judge said. So, for the time being, the application under Section 345(2) CrPC for compounding of offense to the extent of accused Waseem and Aslam Shaheen was not allowed, the judge added.
The judge also mentioned another point, raised by the defence counsel, that Section 311 PPC was not made out in the case. The relevant amendment through which the section was inserted in the PPC was made after registration of FIR and it had no retrospective effect. Section 311 PPC was incorporated to prevent the complainants from entering into a compromise with the accused and to make the offense non-compoundable.
The judge observed: “This question will be determined at the time of conclusion of trial as the amendment to the charge can be made at any stage, even at the time of announcement of judgment and further presence and absence of Section 311 PPC in charge-sheet will not prejudice the main case registered under Section 302, 109/34 PPC.”
The judge said that the parents’ plea seeking forgiveness for their accused sons was not allowed for the time being. Keeping in view the restrictions as imposed by Section 345(2) CrPC, all the remaining prosecution witnesses are summoned through the designated process on Aug 24, the judge ordered.