PESHAWAR -  Peshawar High Court on Wednesday issued notice to Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Advocate General to appear before the court on Thursday and comment on the application filed by father of Mahsal Khan seeking transfer of his son’s murder case from Mardan to Peshawar or any other district of the province.

A two-member bench comprising Chief Justice Yahya Afridi and Justice Abdul Shakoor heard the plea filed by Abdul Lateef Afridi on behalf of Iqbal Khan, father of Mashal Khan.

Mashal Khan was a student of Abdul Wali Khan University, Mardan (AWKUM), who was lynched by a mob of fellow students, university employees and outsiders for allegedly having committed blasphemy, a charge that was not substantiated in initial police inquiry.

 Later, the joint investigation team set up under the directives of the Supreme Court also reported that the blasphemy charges were unfounded and that the murder was planned by a political group that saw Mashal’s activities as a threat. The JIT had also pointed fingers at the administration of AWKUM for corruption and administrative failures. The JIT report also stated that several employees in AWKUM were employed on political basis, which, the report said, had deteriorated affairs at the university.

On June 10, Iqbal Khan had requested the PHC to transfer his son’s case to the Anti-Terrorism Court, Haripur or any other safe place, citing possible threats from opponents.

In the petition, Iqbal Khan through his lawyer Abdul Lateef Afridi advocate said that as majority of the accused nominated in the case were not only locals of Mardan district but also very influential, therefore he was unable to pursue the case in Mardan out of security fears.

The petition further said that frequently visiting Mardan for proceedings of the case could put his life in danger.

In light of the security threats, Iqbal pleaded to the PHC to transfer Mashal’s murder case from Mardan to an anti-terror court in Haripur or another secured city.

Iqbal has also filed a similar petition with the Supreme Court, seeking the court’s intervention in provision of accommodation to his family in Islamabad and admission in educational institutions to his two daughters.

It is pertinent to mention here that some religious elements have been staging demonstration in Mardan calling for the release of the suspects arrested in connection with involvement in Mashal’s murder. The religious elements have the backing of an influential figure of the Jamiat-e-Ulama-e-Islam-Fazl, who was also elected a member of the national assembly during the 2002 general elections.



Our Staff Reporter