Mufti Abdul Qavi, who faces charges of involvement in model and actor Qandeel Baloch’s murder, was granted bail by a court in Multan on Tuesday.
District and Sessions Judge Ameer Mohammad Khan granted bail to Qavi on a Rs200,000 surety after listening to the argument of his counsel, Akbar Bhutta., Express News reported.
Azeem, Qandeel’s father, was also present during the hearing.
Later while speaking to reporters outside the court, Bhutta said his client could be released today.
Qandeel was strangled to death by her brother Muhammad Waseem and cousin Haq Nawaz in the name of ‘honour’ in July last year, weeks after posting selfies with Qavi on social media.
Qavi was arrested last month after a court rejected an extension to his pre-arrest bail. The police declared Qavi as a suspect in the case at the request of Azeem, Qandeel’s father.
Azeem alleged that his daughter was killed on Qavi’s orders and that the cleric had offered him money to drop charges against him.
Qandeel – born Fouzia Azeem – was found strangled to death in her house in Multan’s Karimabad area on July 16, 2016. At that time, her father had claimed that she was killed by Waseem, her younger brother.
Waseem was arrested by the police in Dera Ghazi Khan later that night and confessed to killing her sister in the name of ‘honour’. At a press conference organised by the police, Waseem confessed to have drugged and strangled her.
Two more accused in the case, taxi driver Basit and Aslam Shaheen, another brother of the deceased, are on bail, while Arif, yet another accused, had been declared a proclaimed offender.
Qandeel’s selfies with Qavi last year went viral on social media, causing a nationwide furore, after which the cleric’s membership of the Ruet-e-Hilal Committee and the National Ulema Mushaikh Council was suspended.