Pakistan police includes cleric Abdul Gavi in Qandeel Baloch murder probe

Gavi who had been suspended from a prominent religious council is reported to have said the model's murder was a lesson for all those who mocked the clerics

Pakistani police on Monday said they are widening the scope of the probe into the murder of model and social media sensation Qandeel Baloch.

The investigation will also examine Muslim cleric Mufti Abdul Qavi, police said.

“We have decided to include Mufti Abbdul Qavi in the murder investigation,” Azhar Ikram, chief of police in the central city of Multan.

Qandeel Baloch was found dead on Saturday morning at her family home, on the outskirts of Multan.

Qavi, a prominent member of Pakistan’s moon sighting committee was suspended after Qandeel posted several images and videos online. While she was seen wearing Qavi’s woolen cap in a selfie, a video showed Qandeel sitting almost on his lap.

Gavi is reported to have said the model’s murder was a lesson for those who mocked the clerics.

Qandeel’s brother Muhammed Waseem who been arrested by the police late on Saturday confessed to having murdered her for bringing “dishonour to Baloch name”. He said he was particularly upset by the pictures and videos with Qavi.

He said he had smothered her on Friday night after giving her a sedative.

Waseem’s elder brother Mohammed Aslam Shaeen’s role is also being investigated, Ikram said.

Police are also looking for two of Waseem’s friends, to ascertain if they were also involved in the crime.

The trio had reportedly fled to Dera Ghazi Khan, a town some 100 kilometres away after the murder.

Born as Fouzia Azeem, Baloch had created a storm on social media by posting what the many termed as risqué photographs and raunchy videos since two years.

While the 26 year old attracted several misogynistic comments, many considered her as a representative of the new face of Pakistan.

Some trend watchers even said she took off from where model turned actor Veena Malik left off.

Following the rise in threats, Qandeel had sought security from the Interior Ministry and the Islamabad police.

Frustrated by the lack of response form the authorities, Qandeel had earlier this month said she is mulling to migrate to a foreign country, after Eid.