Pakistani drama industry reminds Pakistani audience that honor killing is an issue
The release of biopic of social media sensation Qandeel Baloch has left Pakistani audience surprised. It reflects how severe the issue is; as the rate of honor killings in the country has been increasing.
A year after Qandeel Baloch’s(Fauzia Azeem) murder, a Pakistani media group, Urdu1, released the biopic: Baaghi (rebel, in Urdu) on the life and struggles of the controversial social media sensation. Saba Qamar, a leading Pakistani actor who stars as Baloch while talking to DAWN said that;
Qandeel represented the double standards that exist in our society. There are stories that need to be told and I want to help tell them.
Just after the release, social media platforms were used to raise voice against the ill;
Why are people negative about Baaghi that’s made on Qandeel? Its core purpose is to condemn honor killing, there isn’t any honor in killing.
— Najia Khawar (@NajiaaKhawar) July 29, 2017
Negative comments about the drama serial also took some space on the internet;
Pakistani drama watchers! Strongly recommend #Baaghi, based on Qandeel Baloch. Only 1 ep in, you’ll fully be engrossed. Its punjabi too!!!
— Henna (@banesotherhalf) July 30, 2017
Qandeel Baloch was a self-made model and actor who had fled from her village life to work in the fashion industry. She left an abusive marriage and also the custody of her son. She was a women rights activist who had been boldly facing criticism on her videos on social media; which were apparently unethical. Her feud with a cleric had put her life at risk and in order to seek safety she moved to her parent’s home. There, she was murdered by her brother. The cleric had also been held a suspect, yet her case still sits there, unattended. Her life and her views can be seen in the BBC News documentary:
Even in this modern era, the rate of honor killing in Pakistan has been increasing. The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan revealed in the annual report in 2016, that 1,100 women have reportedly been a target of honor killing.