You may be convicted as a murderer in other parts of the world, a terrorist in another, but in Pakistan, one’s actions are rationalized with a desirable prefix- honor. ‘Honor killings’ are results of a family member murdering another for the sake guarding the family’s reputation- just as Qandeel Baloch’s brother did- killing her from what he considered a disdain on the family.
Who is Baloch?
Baloch was a Pakistani social media icon but on what appears to be the wrong side of the planet. Propelled to fame by her participation in a Pakistani talent search show and later seizing the opportunity to be famous among social media users through her frequent photo and video updates involving the metrics of her life. At one point, she even posed with a cleric- Mufti Qavi, who in the aftermath of Baloch’s death has gone on to add salt to injury by claiming her death is a curse from God, as being reported in the #News. The cleric’s disgust can be explained away, having being kicked out of a religious committee after his socialite tendencies- and probably trying to reclaim it by his denunciation of a former friend, the deceased Baloch.
A brother’s honor.
Baloch’s brother, motivated by his own definition of what is honorable and what is not has gone on to put his family in the spotlight. His lack of understanding of basic stoic philosophy has shone the light on his family, which would have otherwise have been ignored by the rest of the civilized world.
Pakistan, it seems, fails to understand the basic teachings millenniums of human injustices have afforded mankind. The first, as taught by Epicurus is that such things as honor, reputation and health are outside the control of man. Whether I think of Baloch’s actions as tarnishing to her family or not is outside the control of anyone and no action can change my attitude unless it intrinsically motivates me to change my position.
Honor vs dishonor.
To this end, I find the period Baloch’s family permitted for her to act as she willed as portraying a rational, honorable and understanding environment until the point her brother committed the dishonorable killing. Only then does my opinion of the family transform- the family, as portrayed by the brother and as justified by the laxity in the prosecution of such cases portrays an irrational, dishonorable and an environment that lacks understanding.
In turn, Baloch’s brother has done more to dishonor the family than Baloch would have ever done posting pictures and videos of herself on social media. It seems the case that human life and the sanctity of human life in Pakistan is dependent on opinion, emotion and social media. Living in the 21st Century, Pakistan assumes all the traits that would have fitted the description of a modern concentration camp. While the actions of Baloch’s might seem among some to remove the veil of dishonor from the family, they transfer the veil of dishonor on the whole nation of Pakistan.