Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf chairman Imran Khan on Tuesday said those responsible for Mashal Khan’s murder will be given exemplary punishment.
“Mashal Khan did not commit blasphemy, it has been confirmed it was a conspiracy against him,” said Imran during a press conference alongside Mashal’s grieving father Iqbal Khan.
“No matter which party the suspects belong to, they will be punished,” he assured, adding that investigation is underway to arrest those responsible for the murder. “We will make sure those involved in the murder and those who conspired against Mashal will be held accountable and it will become an example in Pakistan.
“As a father, I can understand the pain of Mashal’s parents,” he said.
“Those involved in the killing and the conspiracy need to be exposed.
Mashal was killed on the pretext and under the garb of blasphemy,” Imran added.
The PTI chief said the entire country saw what the university students did with Mashal. “Even animals don’t behave this way,” he said. “I will ensure justice for Mashal’s death.
It is commendable that people across Pakistan, regardless of their religious or political background, have demanded the accused to be punished.
Mashal, a student of Journalism and Mass Communication at the Abdul Wali Khan University (AWKU), was shot in the head and chest and then his body desecrated by a mob who accused him of committing blasphemy. The video of the gruesome violence made via mobile phone cameras shows Mashal’s disrobed body – covered in blood – being dragged, first in a hallway and then on a road of the campus. It also shows students attacking the policemen who tried to intervene.
The FIR of the grisly killing was registered at the police station of upscale Sheikh Maltoon neighbourhood against 20 suspects, including university employees, students and a tehsil councilor. The FIR – registered under section-302, 148, 149, 297, 427 of the Pakistan Penal Code along with section-7 of the Anti-Terrorism Act – says that the tragic event was preceded by a students’ protest in which the mob accused Mashal and his two friends – Abdullah and Zubair – of committing blasphemy. “During negotiations between the administration and protecting students, the police came to know that a mob had brutally killed Mashal Khan in Hostel-1 of the university,” it said.