PESHAWAR - Muhammad Iqbal, father of Mashal Khan, while expressing satisfaction over the Joint Investigation Team (JIT)’s report, demanded transferring the case from Mardan to Peshawar, putting the names of Abdul Wali Khan University officials nominated in the report as key suspects on the Exit Control List (ECL), as well as providing him a counsel on State expense.

Mashal Khan, a student of Abdul Wali Khan University, Mardan (AWKUM), was lynched by a mob of fellow students, university employees and outsiders on April 13 on the premises of Garden campus of the university for allegedly committing blasphemy. On Sunday, the JIT reported stated that the victim had committed no blasphemy and that the murder was planned by a political group in connivance with certain officials of the university as the group considered his activities as a threat for their interests.

Mashal’s father Iqbal while speaking at a Press conference at Peshawar Press Club on Monday said that the report compiled by JIT on Supreme Court’s orders proved that his son was innocent and was not involved in any kind of blasphemy. “The only sin of my son was that he wanted the university to become a well-reputed educational institution of the province, which hurt some of the influential persons in and out of the university, and thus through a well-planned conspiracy they eradicated Mashal from their way,” Iqbal said.

He said that he himself and his family members feel insecure to pursue the court proceedings in district Mardan due to the influential persons nominated in the FIR of the case.

Mashal’s father urged the provincial government to provide him a counsel on State expense as he could not afford the expenses to hire a lawyer for seeking justice in his lone son’s brutal murder case.

He said that if the provincial government failed to entertain his requests then he would appeal to Federal government for the same support, because he could not stretch hands before public for financial support to pursue the case.

He stressed the need that names of all the sitting and former officials of the university should be put on ECL and a thorough investigation should be carried out into the record of the university to ascertain as to who were responsible for destruction of the university.

He said that those who were found guilty in destruction of the university should be awarded exemplary punishment.  He also reiterated demand often put forth by his son in his lifetime to probe into the financial embezzlements and merit violation in appointments on different key positions in the university stating that if the internal situation of the university was not improved, it would be tantamount to wasting the blood of Mashal.

He also revealed that those involved in his son’s murder were very influential

and in such a situation he would not be able to appear in the court in Mardan, and the case should be shifted to Peshawar.

Besides, he appealed to all the politicians including elected members of Parliament to extend him cooperation in obtaining justice in his son’s case.

Flanked by Dr Said Alam Mehsud, Abdul Latif Advocate, ANP leader Mian Iftikhar, National Party’s Mukhtar Bacha, Liaquat Yousufzai, Shahab Khattak Advocate, he said that the accused also include some professional criminals and thus he does not feel secure. Iqbal said that three of the accused were still at large.  He asked for their immediate arrest to complete the course of investigation.

He said that his children never missed their classes, but after the gory incident of Mashal’s murder his daughter avoids to attend her classes.

Iqbal thanked the Chief Justice Supreme Court of Pakistan for taking notice of his son’s murder and ordering probe through the JIT into the case as well as appreciated the JIT members for completing the process in a short time.

Mian Iftikhar for exemplary punishment

Awami National Party General Secretary Mian ftikhar Hussain Shah said on Monday that killers of Mashal Khan deserved exemplary punishment so that no

one dared to take the law into his or her hands in future.

Shah said while talking to media persons that ANP had taken a clear stand over the issue, adding, that even the party chief Asfandyar Wali Khan had said that  those involved in lynching and killing of Mashal Khan must be hanged. Mashal’s father Iqbal Khan was also present on the occasion.

Shah further said that lynching and killing of Mashal Khan, a student of Abdul Wali Khan University Mardan, was condemnable and sorrowful. About the JIT report, he said that those wanted in Mashal murder case were associated with Pakhtun Students Federation, however, the political affiliation of those who had opened straight firing at Mashal Khan and ultimately killed him, had been undisclosed. The killers had no religion. Killers are killers, Shah said, adding, that killers of Mashal Khan have no affiliation with ANP.