ISLAMABAD: Media insensitivity and crass intrusion in the personal life of Qandeel Baloch probably led to the death of the social media starlet on Saturday. Weeks before she was murdered for honour, media outlets disclosed that her original name was Fauzia Azeem. Till then no one knew her by her original name.
Qandeel hailed from a remote area of Multan, where the media outreach is limited. Once her real identity and family background were exposed on broadcast media she was a sitting target. Apparently picture of her passport was shared after her selfies with cleric Mufti Abdul Qavi went viral.
Besides her name and family, the passport also revealed her native town, her marital status and many other personal details including that of her son that hardly anyone knew before.
The exposure of her real name also drew criticism from some quarters who claimed using Baloch as her surname was disrespectful to the entire Baloch race.
But realising the disclosure had put her life in danger, she had also requested the interior ministry for security, which she never received.
In an interview with The Express Tribune on July 4, Qandeel said she wanted the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) to investigate those behind revealing her true identity and circulating her family pictures on social media.
“I don’t know who actually did this but there is somebody behind it who did it deliberately,” she had said. “The names will be revealed after Eid as the FIA is wholeheartedly working on it.”
She was, however, quite certain she would not be given security by the interior ministry and planned to settle abroad with her parents after Eid.
Her perceived fears turned into reality on Saturday when her life was taken by her own brother for bringing dishonour to the family – an abhorring practice rampant in the country, particularly in her native south Punjab.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 17th, 2016.