Presenting Qandeel Baloch as ‘a mazloom aurat’ might be Baaghi’s biggest flaw

Despite the careful disclaimers at the beginning of each episode and the writers’ assertions that this is a “fictionalised account”, most people started watching this serial because of its Qandeel Baloch connection. So the producers do owe her story some level of honesty.

The writers have stated their hope not to “glorify” Qandeel but to serve the public a morality lesson about the mistakes she, and other girls like her, have made. However, so far, the storyline has followed a very predictable Pakistani drama track which relieves their heroine of much of the responsibility for her own choices in life.

By episode 14, Fozia Azeem has started a new career, she is no longer the rejected first wife, or the batameez larki that her family despairs of ever controlling. She has reinvented herself as Kanwal Baloch, pronounced with an English accent, and has managed to find her way onto two reality TV shows.

The story so far

Fozia finally arrives in the big city to take up her dream job of modelling, leaving her cheating husband and young son far behind.

The modelling agency is willing to spend money and time, grooming and polishing this rough young girl and Fozia soon learns why. Alone, with no money or backing, Fozia looks like an easy mark for the usual predators that haunt unprotected young women. There is the businessman who might consider her as a brand ambassador if she “entertains” him, then she is sold by a woman running a girl’s hostel, even her job as coach hostess is marked by sexual harassment.

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