Brother of slain Mashal Khan challenges acquittal of 26 suspects in PHC


PESHAWAR: Aimal Khan, brother of the slain Mardan University student Mashal Khan, on Wednesday petitioned the Peshawar High Court (PHC), challenging an anti-terrorism court’s decision to exonerate 26 suspects in his brother’s lynching case.

Barrister Amir Ullah Khan Chamkani counsel for Aimal Khan filed the petition in which the petitioner beseeched the court to reopen the case and stressed that all 26 suspects can be seen in the videos of the incident proving their involvement in the murder of Mashal.

The petition further argues that the ATC erroneously acquitted the suspects as there was sufficient incriminating evidence against them, which it failed to take into consideration while deciding the case.

Besides, the accused persons had confessed to their involvement in the crime while addressing a welcome party on arrival at Motorway interchange Rashakai Mardan after release from Haripur Central Jail on February 7.

The petitioner pleaded before PHC that ATC verdict in Mashaal Khan murder case causes confusion, therefore, it needs to be reviewed and all accused who were acquitted should be punished according to law.

Earlier on February 7, an anti-terrorism court convicted 31 out of 57 suspects in the Mashal Khan lynching case and ordered the acquittal of 26 others.

Mashal’s parents lamented that all their sacrifices have gone to waste as only transparent justice could have avenged and averted the killings in name of blasphemy.

Mashal’s mother said that the verdict has been “very discouraging” and that they would challenge it in the high court. “We need full justice,” said Mashal Khan’s mother while talking to media.

Speaking to media-persons right after the verdict, Mashal Khan’s brother Aimal Khan said that all the accused deserved punishment as they were part of the mob that had killed his brother.

Aimal, while speaking to the media outside the courtroom as the verdict was being read out, said that he hoped that no one ever has to go through the ordeal his family suffered.

Meanwhile, the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government announced to challenge the acquittal of 26 accused in the case. “The provincial government will go into an appeal against all those who have been acquitted,” said Shaukat Yousafzai, an advisor to Chief Minister Pervez Khattak.