First death anniversary of Mashal Khan observed

SWABI: The first death anniversary of Mashal Khan was observed at his village Zaida on Sunday. Nationalist leaders, leader of various political parties including Usman Khan Kakar of Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party and Liaquat Shabab attended fatiha for Mashal Khan.

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

Addressing the ceremony, Saleem Khan said the barbaric killing of Mashal Khan was one of the ugliest incidents in the Pashtun history. He said that the allegations were proved to be false.

He stressed the need for educational institutions to inculcate an attitude of tolerance in students.

He lamented that Mashal’s father Iqbal Khan has not been given copy of the JIT report. PPP leader Liaquat Shabab praised talent and intelligence of Mashal Khan and said his sacrifice would bear fruits.

The Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa government also challenged the acquittals. They filed three petitions calling for enhancing the sentences of all the convicts in the case.

A number of Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam Fazl and Jamaat-e-Islami workers showered rose petals on the 26 acquitted men on the day the verdict was announced. They called them ‘ghazis’ and ‘heroes’.

Three weeks after the verdict, the Peshawar High Court granted bail to the 25 convicts who were handed three years in prison. One principle accused, Asad Katlang, is also on pre-arrest bail till April 16. Katlang, a university employee, had been absconding for a year.

The Peshawar High Court has also ordered the transfer of all the appeals submitted against the ATC’s verdict to Peshawar.