Qandeel Baloch and Hareem Shah: two social stars with one fate

qandeel baloch and hareem shah

Hareem Shah has stirred the social networks with her bold tiktok videos and controversial calls with high profile Pakistani politicians. This is what Qandeel Baloch had done before she was killed by her brother in the name of honour. Luckily, Hareem Shah is still live and her father has prayed God for her forgiveness and apologized all the stakeholders to forgive him for all the wrong doings of his daughter. He expressed his concern about the national security at stake due to his daughter’s wrong doings.

hareem shah father zarar hussain shah
Hareem Shah’s father apologized through video message for all the worries people faced due to his daughter’s videos

Hareem Shah became popular through her viral videos with celebrities and officials of Pakistan. The most prominent of them were Prime Minister Imran Khan and his cabinet members Sheikh Rashid and Fayyaz Chouhan.

Her first video that stirred anger and concern by the serious PTI supporters and opposition parties was the one in which she visited the Foreign Office and can be seen sitting on the chair used by the foreign minister. When this video went viral on social media, the government had to initiate an inquiry about who allowed Hareem Shah to enter into the most important government buildings. It is not clear what action was taken against the person who allowed Hareem Shah to enter into the room of the most high-security institutions of Pakistan. However, Hareem shah told a local television channel: “I managed to get inside the premises and asked someone to please record the footage…I’m not aware of their position.”

hareem shah in foreign office
hareem shah in foreign office

Hareem Shah again trended on top on twitter when she shared a video showing an apparently video call with Federal Railways Minister Sheikh Rasheed. People began to wonder why she has been exposing only the top PTI leadership.

On such controversial videos, Hareem Shah claimed she was receiving threats from the PTI workers and soon it became a reality when someone shared her personal details on the social media. The details of Hareem Shah included the images of her passport and the Computerized National Identity Card (CNIC) from which the public for the first time came to know her real name, cell phone number and the residential address.

Hareem shah and sandal Khattak
Hareem shah and sandal Khattak

Responding to the alleged threats from the PTI supporters, Hareem Shah also responded on Twitter by saying, “PTI wly fazool ki nakwas gaaliyan bak kr gusa na dilye yea na ho k Khan saab ki bhe video laga lu. Sir funky kehne per yeh maafi wala video dala hey.” However, soon after sharing this message on Twitter, she deleted it. She also alleged that Rasheed used to send her ‘inappropriate videos’

From the shared video, Hareem Shah can be seen saying, “What do you mean…What about all those naked videos you used to send me have you forgotten about them.”

The controversial video stirred sensation on twitter and Hareem Shah became the top trend on twitter and the tweet gained a lot of attention worldwide.

Many people who had witnessed the rise and fall of Qandeel Baloch soon started commenting that someone should make Hareem Shah that she was in an immense danger and feared she should not end in the same way Qandeel Baloch was murdered. In this background, the video released by the father of Hareem Shah is very important as it seems to be a very soft warning for Hareem Shah and if she does not stop sharing controversial videos and put the reputation of high profile politicians in danger then she would also be a prey of honor killing.

The Case of Qandeel Baloch

Just like we came to know about the real name of Hareem Shah as “Fiza Hussain” the real name of Qandeel Baloch was Fouzia Azeem. She was a social media celebrity and gained popularity of social media in which she discussed her daily routine, her rights as a Pakistani woman, and various controversial issues. People came to know about her in 2013 when she was auditioned for Pakistan Idol. She was one of the top ten most searched celebrity on the Internet and was liked and criticized for her videos and posts.

qandeel baloch and her parents
qandeel baloch and her parents

Qandeel Baloch used to live in Multan where she was asphyxiated in 2016 while she was asleep. During investigations, her brother Waseem Azeem confessed to have killed Qandeel Baloch saying she was “bringing disrepute” to the “family’s honour“.

Just like Hareem Shah came from a religious family from a conservative background, Qandeel Baloch also belonged to lower middle family with 11 siblings. Belonging to a lower middle family she started her career as a bus hostess and got married at an early age.

Qandeel started being recognized with her video message in which she promised to “strip dance” for the nation if Pakistan beat India at a T20 cricket match. Qandeel stirred the sensations of her followers when she shared a selfie of herself snuggling up to Mufti Qavi, a member of the government-funded religious committee, “Council of Islamic Ideology”.

As long as Baloch limited herself to entertain her followers with her sexually appealing videos, she was tolerated and admired by her fans. However, as soon as she dared to challenge the feudal mindset and traditional values she became a threat to the traditional power structures in Pakistan. She soon started receiving threats and appealed to the government for her protection. In an interview, she expressed her concern about her status in the country and said: “How can I threaten anyone’s honour when I have been told repeatedly that I have no honour?”

The end of Qandeel Baloch was tragic; she was strangled by her brother who confessed to have killed her because she had stained the family’s honour. In killing her, he had removed the stain.

Similarities of Hareem Shah and Qandeel Baloch

Both of the social media stars in Pakistan used fake profiles hiding their real names. The real name of Hareem Shah is Fiza Hussain as told by her father Zarar Hussain. While Hareem Shah belongs to a religious family, Qandeel Baloch belonged to a conservative middle class family. Reportedly, Hareem Shah was married just like Qandeel Baloch was at an early age. Qandeel Baloch had over one million followers whereas Hareem Shah has over 2.1 million followers. While the brother of Qnadeel Baloch alleged that his sister stained the family reputation, the father of Hareem Shah also expressed sorrow over Hareem Shah being a source of worries for the family.

Social media is the most effective platform for young talent in Pakistan and many of the stars gained popularity from the social media first. However, since Pakistan is still a traditional and conservative society in many parts of the country, gaining popularity and challenging the traditional values is not without dangers. This is especially true for female stars who are considered the honour or stain for their families. For such stars, being bold is not without risk and following the footsteps of Qandeel Baloch, Hareem Shah is putting herself in danger which is obvious from the speech of her father who expressed his worries for his daughter.

Previous articleNomal Rao Gained popularity on Social Media by a viral video
Next articleMost Searched Personalities From Pakistan in 2019
Niaz Shakir is the CEO of UK Newsline and the former Sub Editor at the Daily Mashriq Balochistan. He has written numerous articles in Urdu and English in various newspapers of Pakistan.