PESHAWAR: Mashal Khan’s father Muhammad Iqbal has expressed satisfaction over the findings of a joint investigation team investigating the brutal lynching of his son by a mob inside the Abdul Wali Khan University of Mardan over accusations of blasphemy.
Iqbal, however, refused to attend the hearing of the case at an anti-terrorism court in Mardan, arguing that his opponents were very influential and he did not want to put his and his family’s life in danger.
“It is accepted even in the JIT report that the killers of my son are very influential and professional criminals,” said Iqbal while addressing newsmen at the Peshawar Press Club on Monday.
“I cannot put my life in danger, contesting the case in Mardan,” he said, adding that he had also requested the Supreme Court to transfer the case to the Peshawar High Court.
Iqbal, however, denied receiving any threats or having been pressurised by any group or party so far.
“My family is satisfied with the JIT report. Though the report names activists of some political parties, this doesn’t mean that their parties have directed them to kill Mashal,” he said, adding, “It must be their individual act.”
Mashal’s father also demanded exemplary punishment for the university administration over the lynching of his son at the university campus in April this year.
“The JIT report has proved that Mashal Khan was innocent and his only crime was that he had raised voice against corrupt and inefficient administration of the Abdul Wali Khan University. He wanted to rid the university of corrupt officials,” he said, demanding that the names of the whole administration of the university be put on the exit control list (ECL).
Iqbal said he did not have the means to contest such a high-profile case and pay hefty fees to lawyers. “Therefore, I request the state to bear the expenses of the whole case as the investigation has proved my son innocent.”
He also appealed to religio-political parties to change their attitude after the JIT report found his son innocent. He added that all political parties should help bring to justice the murderers of Mashal – a mass communication student at the Abdul Wali Khan University.
“My daughters never missed going to schools or colleges, but since the death of their brother, they have not attended school and the Swabi University. Therefore, I request the government to provide security to them so that they may continue their education,” he demanded.
Meanwhile, a spokesman for the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa police issued a clarification regarding the constitution of a committee to probe Mashal’s murder, saying that on May 11, 2017, K-P IG Salahuddin Khan directed the regional police officer Mardan to present a detailed inquiry report on all administrative matters of the murder case.
“While on May 26, 2017, RPO Muhammad Alam Shinwari nominated DPO Nowshera and SP investigation Charsadda to help in the inquiry report,” said the police spokesman in the clarification statement.
He said the inquiry committee had completed its investigation. However, the report of the joint interrogation team, comprising representatives of police and five other investigation agencies, was awaited so that the real motives behind the incident could be ascertained, he added.
The spokesman said after the submission of the JIT report, the enquiry committee report would be submitted to the IGP in the ongoing week.
(With additional input from Riaz Ahmed)