MULTAN: The high-profile murder case of social media starlet Qandeel Baloch took a new turn on Wednesday when the victim’s parents once again submitted an affidavit in a local court, forgiving their two sons accused of murdering their daughter three years ago.
They prayed that amendments made to the Criminal Law Act 2004 with regards to honour killings were not implementable on the case since the murder took place before their enactment two years ago.
Baloch’s parents, in their affidavit, maintained that they have pardoned their sons – Waseem and Aslam Shaheen – seeking their acquittal ‘for the mercy and approval of the Almighty’.
The prosecution, on the other hand, responded with a written statement, maintaining that pardoning the accused was not legally permissible in the honour killing cases.
Submission of a ‘compromise agreement’ after recording statements from 19 witnesses was tantamount to injustice in the case, it stressed. “After amendments in the Criminal Law Act 2004, killing in the name of honour cannot be pardoned by compromise agreements,” read the statement. Pardoning the suspects was not permissible despite amendments in Section 311 of the Pakistan Penal Code, it added.
According to the said law, a compromise is not permissible if complainant(s) and suspect(s) is/are heirs of the victim.
The court later adjourned the hearing till Thursday.
The parents of the slain model had presented a similar agreement before the court in September last year. However, their plea was rejected by the court, citing the amendments made in the Criminal Law Act 2004.
Qandeel was allegedly strangled to death by her brother Waseem and cousin Haq Nawaz on July 16, 2016 within the limits of Muzzaffarabad Police Station.
The trial has been unnecessarily dragged since the investigation officer of the case was replaced on four different occasions. The challan of the case alone took three years before being presented at the court.
However, the case has now been handed over to a model court, which is expected to announce its verdict within three months.