Mashal Khan’s father challenges ATC ruling in high court


PESHAWAR: Mashal Khan’s father on Friday challenged the anti-terrorism court’s decision in his son’s lynching case in the Peshawar High Court (PHC).

Iqbal Lala has filed three appeals – two against Arif Khan and Asad Zia Katlang who were sentenced to life imprisonment and the third one against the acquittal of Azhar and Sabir Mayar.

Lala pleaded the court to turn the two convicts’ life imprisonment into death penalty.

On March 21, an ATC jailed two suspects for life in the Mashal Khan lynching case and acquitted two others. ATC Judge Mahmoodul Hassan Khattak reserved the verdict on March 12 and then again on March 16.

Mayar was the president of the Pakhtun Students Federation at Abdul Wali Khan University.

Mashal Khan was a 23-year-old mass communications student at Mardan’s Abdul Wali Khan University who was beaten and shot to death by a mob on April 13, 2017, after being accused of blasphemy.

Earlier, at least 61 people suspected to be involved in the lynching were charged in the first information report. The main suspect, Imran, was handed a death sentence twice, while 25 people suspects were given 25 years in jail while 25 others were handed four-year sentences. Twenty-six suspects were acquitted in the case.

In June 2017, a 13-member joint investigation team concluded that the allegations of blasphemy against Mashal Khan were unfounded and were used as an excuse to incite a mob against him.