Baloch-Mufti selfie mania going beyond terse humour
RAWALPINDI: The social media sensation Qandeel Baloch on Monday took internet by storm as she shared a couple of selfies of herself with Mufti Abdul Qawi before ridiculing the cleric on different TV channels. A selfie shows Baloch posing with Mufti, sitting next to him. The second picture shows Mufti holding a cell phone to his ear and Baloch wearing his hat, standing close to him. Mufti told Geo News that during an earlier encounter, Baloch had expressed her desire to meet him in Karachi. “She wanted to have a meeting in order to get rid of a magic spell. She put my hat on her head, and took a selfie while I was busy on phone,” he said.
“She asked me to arrange her meeting with Imran Khan as she wants to discuss the treatment meted out to her by some people during PTI rallies. Since I am the head of PTI’s religious wing, I agreed that I would talk to Imran Khan,” he said. However, Baloch gave a quite different account of the meeting she held with Mufti Qawi. “Why would I ask for a meeting with him…in fact, he had told me during a TV program that he would like to lay his eyes on my face before witnessing the moon of Ramazan,” she said.
“He told me, forget about Imran Khan as he is 65 and too old for me… he said I am 50 years old and an age gap of 25 years between us is not a big deal,” Qandeel Baloch said, breaking out in laughter. Pakistan’s media watchdog has frequently issued show-cause notices to TV channels and imposed hefty fines for what it said violation of the code of conduct. The Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) took two TV shows off the air last week. The regulator also censured some TV channels for indulging in the ratting race. However, Baloch has claimed that Mufti Abdul Qawi had put in the request to meet her at the hotel he was staying in.
“The Mufti said, ‘I want to see you before the Eid moon,’” added Qandeel, who also claimed that the religious scholar had “proposed” to her during the meeting. Meanwhile, a Senate standing committee members burst into laughter when Senator Hamdullah said Qandeel Baloch should be made a member of Ruet –e-Hilal committee.
Hamdullah took a jibe at Mufti Qawi, who also is member of the committee. He said if ulema like Mufti can be a part of committee who make selfies with Baloch then the latter can also be accorded membership to Hilal committee. Federal Minister for Religious Affairs Sardar Yousuf replied, “If you recommend, then they would include Baloch in Ruet-e-Hilal Committee. We will send this matter to the Council of Islamic Ideology (CII).”
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief spokesman Naeemul Haq distanced his party from Mufti Qavi. In a Tweet on Tuesday, Haq denied that Mufti was head of PTI’s ulema wing. “The head of ulema wing of PTI is Mufti Saeed not Mufti Qawi. PTI dissociates itself completely from Mufti Qawi’s behaviour,” he said. In a second tweet, he said that the funds for Madrasas will be given over five years and will be monitored closely for curriculum modernisation and quality teaching.