Multan - Authorities have barred the family of a murdered social media celebrity from legally “forgiving” their son for strangling her, sources said, in a rare stand against the so-called practice of “honour killings”.

Muhammad Waseem drugged and strangled Qandeel Baloch on Friday in a murder that has shocked the country.

Waseem told media he had “no regrets” about killing his sister as she violated the family’s honour by her social media pictures, including “selfie” photographs with prominent cleric Abdul Qavi. In a video post with Qavi, she appears to sit on his lap.

A police source said the government of Punjab has made it impossible for the family to forgive the son who murdered her - a common legal loophole that sees many honour killings go unpunished in the country.

“It was done on the instructions of the government. But it happens rarely,” said the Punjab police official.

A senior government official in Islamabad confirmed the order came from the Punjab government.

The local police expanded the circle of investigation into Qandeel’s murder Tuesday as they decided to take her killer to Lahore for DNA test while the investigator of the case was also replaced, The Nation has learnt.

The police had found nail scratches on the neck of the slain celebrity which prompted police to get the DNA test of the killer done to ascertain whether the nail scratches were put by him on her neck or anyone else also accompanied him in this crime.

On the other hand, CPO Azhar Akram suspended investigator of the case Inspector Ilyas and appointed Inspector Attiya Jafri as the new investigator. Sources said he was suspended because of his poor performance in the investigation.

The mother of the deceased social media celebrity had accused Mufti Abdul Qavi of provoking her son to kill his sister. She told the media that Qandeel’s former husband Ashiq was also involved in the murder and he was in contact with the killer Waseem at the time of murder.

Similarly, Muhammad Azeem, father of Qandeel also held Mufti Qavi responsible for the tragedy. “It is because of Mufti that the people in Dera Ghazi Khan and whole country knew about identity of Qandeel. He is killer of my daughter and he should be interrogated,” he demanded while talking to the media. He said his son Waseem served the family with intoxicated milk. He said his other son Shafiq was not involved in this crime and he earlier mentioned his name as he was in a state of shock and anger.

Regional Police Officer Sultan Azam Taimoori told media that all aspects and angles of the case were being viewed by the police. He said the killer was in contact with his brothers at the time of murder and all suspects would be interrogated. He disclosed that two persons, who had taken the killer to Dera Ghazi Khan after the crime, had also been included into the investigation while Mufti Qavi would also be quizzed.

Talking to The Nation, Mufti Qawi said no one had contacted him so far, although he is willing to cooperate with the police. “I have nothing to do with this murder. I had gone to Lahore two days before this incident and I was busy evolving a questionnaire on the status of organ donation in light of Shariah,” he added. He said he heard the news of Qandeel’s murder through media. He said Qandeel was murdered by her real brother inside the boundary wall of their home and her killer had confessed to the crime.

More than 500 people, almost all of them women, die in honour killings in Pakistan every year, usually at the hands of relatives acting over a perception shame has been brought on the family.

It was not immediately clear if the Punjab government’s decision would lead to any meaningful reforms. An anti-honour killings bill that aims to close the family forgiveness loophole has been bogged down in parliament.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in February promised to speed up the passage of the proposed law but right groups say there has been no progress.

“There is no honour in killing in the name of honour,” Sharif said about Baloch’s murder, according to his daughter, Maryam.

Police on Monday also said they were widening their investigations to include Qavi, the cleric who was removed from a prominent committee after the selfie photos were published. He has denied any wrongdoing.

Baloch built a modelling career on the back of her social media fame and was the family breadwinner. Media often described her as Pakistan’s Kim Kardashian and she called herself a modern-day feminist.

But her pictures and videos outraged religious conservatives who viewed her as a disgrace to the cultural values of Islam and Pakistan. She often received death threats.