PESHAWAR/MARDAN: A new video has surfaced in the murder case of Mashal Khan, shedding further light on the circumstances in which the Mardan university student was lynched by an angry mob which accused him of blasphemy.
The video shows a crowd of charged men chanting slogans and vowing not to reveal to police the name of the person who shot the 23-year-old journalism student.
The video may prove to be a key piece of evidence in the case that has been widely reported in both national and international media.
Last week, Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Mian Saqib Nisar took notice of the lynching on a news story containing details of the incident.
Speaking in Pashto, the men can be seen congratulating each other in the video for having "done what we had to do".
The men take vows of not giving police the name of the shooter and claim anybody who reveals his name would be considered an apostate.
It is unclear exactly when the video is from, but at least one individual can be identified as Arif, a tehsil councillor in Mardan and a general secretary of the Insaf Student Federation, the student wing of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) which governs the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.
"My name is Arif. If anybody wants to register a FIR, they can register it against me," the man can be seen saying the footage.
Arif was arrested by police the day after the incident took place.
A few individuals are believed to be from the mob, seen in earlier videos, which beat and shot Mashal Khan to death at the Abdul Wali Khan University on April 13.
Anyone involved will be punished
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Naeem-ul-Haque said any person involved in the murder of Mashal Khan will be punished.
“Imran Khan has clearly said legal action will be taken against any individual involved in the murder regardless of whether they belong to PTI or some other political party.”
The people trying to cover this issue up will also be legally charged, the PTI leader added.
Law of the land needs to prevail
Awami National Party (ANP) leader Zahid Khan said Mashal was not guilty. “Even if a person is guilty of a crime, the law and courts are present to serve justice."
Zahid Khan placed blame on the provincial government as nine university vice-chancellors had not been appointed. "The provincial government wants to appoint its favourite people," Zahid Khan said.
Khan stressed that the decision to rename Abdul Wali Khan University to Mashal Khan University would further divide the Pakhtun community.
The ANP leader said the police were also involved. “What role did the police play in the incident?”
According to Zahid Khan, ANP chief Asfandyar Wali Khan said that even if his son had been involved in the incident, he should be punished as per the law of the land.
University insiders involved
Senior journalist and anchor of Geo News programme Capital Talk, Hamid Mir said university insiders were involved in the murder. “These insiders involved other people from outside the university.”
Mir further said personal grievances, not blasphemy seemed to be the motive behind the murder.
Mashal’s murder is a clear conspiracy
Senior anchor Shahzeb Khanzada who hosts Aaj Shahzeb Khanzada Kay Sath said the murder of Mashal Khan is a clear conspiracy. “Authorities need to find out who is involved in this conspiracy and whose agenda this was.”
According to Khanzada, students belonging to different political parties’ and departments were united in this incident. He added that the incident was being investigated by the police and the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government has assured that justice will prevail.