The outcry that Mashal’s murder case created has died down because of the delays in the investigation efforts. At the start of this month, activists and civil society members rightly pushed for the speedy trial in the case; based on the belief that any delay would give advantage to the anti-Mashal voices in the system.

At the same time, while the police was vigilant in its efforts to arrest all the possible suspects in the case; it seems to have arrested way too many people. As many as 57 suspects have been arrested in the matter, with no clear direction about to who is actually responsible for the act.

There were already rumours of the involvement of the police in the lynching case. Several accused the police force of not taking matters into their own hands and letting the incident take place. If there were allegations of blasphemy against Mashal Khan, he should have been arrested by the police. That would have been the legal course of action, rather than letting him stay out in the open for people to murder.

At the same time, the police force has also failed to arrest those who were uploading content in the name of Mashal Khan; trying to portray him as a blasphemous person. All of these things point towards the inefficiency of the force that is dealing with the case.

What happens in this case, when the police arrests too many suspects, is that the court grants benefit of the doubt to several suspects. This is especially true for the murder cases. What this means is that the police force is not actually making any worthy progress in the case and is just arresting individuals based on mere hunches; just to show that they are being vigilant.

This will significantly slow down the pace of action in this case and the court will fail to set a precedent related to the matter. Everyone is well aware of the bureaucratic procedures in Pakistan, which tend to take ages. If the police is not doing its job properly and only using delaying tactics to accommodate the actual culprits, then it is time that they are held responsible and stripped off the powers that let them enjoy immunity in such matters.

Mashal Khan’s murder is a very significant incident, which has been able to awaken people’s silent conscience. If the authorities fail to take the necessary steps; Mashal Khan will become just another unresolved matter in the books of Pakistan.