SWABI: The father of Mashal Khan has said that the ‘slow’ progress in his son’s murder case and ‘unmet’ promises of the PTI government in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa have left the family saddened and demoralised.
In April, a vigilante mob had beaten Mashal to death in a Mardan university, accusing him of blasphemy.
“The district police office has assigned sizeable security to protect our family and the Mashal Khan grave from miscreants as the case heads towards a decision,” said Iqbal Lala, Mashal’s father, while talking to The Express Tribune on Saturday in his native village in Swabi.
“Family members of the accused students in Mashal Khan’s lynching case have approached us to settle the case and are still pushing us one way or the other, but we will never bow before them or exonerate them,” Lala said.
“We have been informed several times, and in recent days, through local jirga members, political leaders in our district [Mardan] and the province to convince us to strike a deal with the accused families, but we have a clear stance: that if we spare them, it will pave the way for more such incidents,” he added.
“Though the track record of justice delivery in the country has not been very encouraging, we still pin our hopes on the Supreme Court,” he said, lamenting that after the transfer of the case to the ATC Hazara, no date of the trial had been fixed yet.
“After Eidul Azha, we plan to stage protest demonstrations as we fear that the case of Mashal Khan would be forgotten in a few months… and if needed, we will also bring the issue to the notice of the UN,” he warned.
Lala urged the top court to order implementation on the verdict it issued while taking a suo motu notice of the case, with regard to education of his daughters.
“My daughters’ education is almost over as they have not been to their institutions since April,” he said, adding, “My elder daughter has missed her pharmacy examination while my younger daughter has not attended school since the murder of my son.”
Answering a question, he said they were still waiting for PTI chairman Imran Khan to fulfil his promises. “The PTI chief had promised to rename the Mardan University after Mashal Khan and a Shaheed Package for the family as the JIT had cleared my son of blasphemy allegations.”
Mashal’s father called for speedy justice to the victims so that the accused could be punished “in our lives and an example could be made of them for the rest”.
“I also request the Supreme Court to order the government to make arrangement for my daughters to continue their education in Islamabad and live a life without fear,” Lala said.