Muhammad Waseem appealed his murder conviction and life imprisonment sentence in 2019. Defense lawyer Sardar Mahboob said a court in the central city of Multan overturned the conviction after key witnesses retracted their testimony, without elaborating. A government prosecutor confirmed the acquittal.
Waseem said his mother also announced in court that she had pardoned him. It was not clear whether the court had taken into account the mother’s statement when issuing its ruling.
The main amendment to the laws dealing with “honour killings” in Pakistan was that a person could not be released based on the pardon of a family member alone.
Waseem admitted at a media conference organized by the police in 2016 that he strangled his 26-year-old sister because of her activities on social media.
Baloch had posted on Facebook about trying to change the “traditional stereotypical mindset” of people in Pakistan. She faced repeated attacks and death threats, but she continued to publish photos and videos deemed provocative.
Baloch has worked as a model based on her social media fame but has angered many Pakistanis.