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Mashal Khan murder: father fears ‘influential adversaries’, wants case transferred outside Mardan

IQBALPESHAWAR: Mashal Khan’s father in a press conference on Monday requested that his son’s case be transferred to a court outside Mardan alleging that ‘influential adversaries’ may pose possible hurdles to proceedings.

“I told the Supreme Court (SC) that my lawyer and I cannot afford to fight the case in Mardan because our adversaries are very influential and powerful. Therefore, the case should be transferred to a different court,” Muhammad Iqbal Khan told reporters.

When asked about demands that Mashal’s case be tried in military court, his father said he would stick to his statements if his legal team advises him to.

“Military courts are endorsed by the Parliament and democratic system. That is why I demanded that Mashal Khan’s case be tried in an army court,” he clarified.

He admitted to asking the SC to provide protection for his daughters as well, who he claimed were scared of going to school after Mashal Khan’s murder on April 13.

“My kids have never missed school or college. But since Mashal Khan’s incident, my daughters have not been to school or university. So I have asked the court to provide protection for my daughters.”

“My son went to university to get an education. We thought he would bring home a degree but his dead body was handed over to us. We demand that boys and girls who are studying in any university must be protected. Their lives come before their education,” he added.

In April, a vigilante mob, incited by rumours attacked Khan for allegedly “publishing blasphemous content online”. The mass communication student was beaten and shot by the mob and succumbed to the injuries he received.

A report compiled by the 13-member JIT investigating the lynching stated that a group in the university incited a mob against the Mardan university student on pretext of blasphemy. It added that no proof was found that Khan had committed blasphemy.

Khan expressed satisfaction over the progress of a Joint Investigation Team (JIT) probing Mashal’s murder and its recent report. “It is said that there are 270 more pages in the JIT report… My son wanted to cleanse the university from corruption and malpractice,” he said. “If somebody did corruption, it would be an individual act, it doesn’t mean that his party or organisation asked the individual to do so,” he added.

He also requested that the provincial government pay his lawyer’s fee. “If the provincial government cannot do that, I will be forced to appeal to the federal government.” -DN

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