One year on, Mashal Khan’s family awaits justice


 MARDAN: On this day exactly one year ago, Mashal Khan was brutally murdered by a mob over false blasphemy allegations.

One person has been sentenced to death since then and five others have been given life imprisonment but Mashal’s family still awaits justice.

The 23-year-old was stripped, beaten and shot at by a mob made up of mostly students before being thrown from the second floor of his dormitory at Abdul Wali Khan University in Mardan.

The brutality of the attack, which was recorded on mobile phone cameras and posted online, stunned the public and led to widespread condemnation. Protests erupted in several cities across the country and the university was closed down for weeks.

Students and staff members who took part were rounded up after being identified through CCTV footage from university cameras. As well as, video clips.

An official report released soon after the incident concluded that Mashal was falsely accused of blasphemy.

The report stated that the murder was instigated by members of a student group who were threatened by Mashal’s growing prominence and stance against their activities at the university.

Mashal’s father, Iqbal Khan, plans to take out a rally in his son’s memory. “The date of the rally will be decided after consultations with my relatives,” said the aggrieved father.

“We will ask higher courts for justice on the decision of the anti-terrorism court (ATC). I had asked the provincial government for five attorneys since there were 25 lawyers defending the suspects. However, they promised two but gave me only one,” he lamented about the acquittal of 26 suspects over a lack of evidence by the ATC.