An anti-terrorism court has sentenced one man to death, and jailed five others for life in the Mashal Khan murder case.

Mashal was lynched by a mob at Abdul Wali Khan University last year over allegations of blasphemy, and 25 other people have been sentenced to four years imprisonment each.

The sentencing took place at Haripur Jail on Wednesday by ATC judge Fazl-e-Subhan.
It is thought that 26 other suspects were exonerated by the judge.

58 people were arrested in connection with Mashal’s lynching including Imran who admitted to shooting at the student.
Three suspects including Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s Tehseel Councilor Arif, Sabir Mayar, a leader of a student organization and Assad Zia, an employee of the university remain at large.

Nasir Saeed, Director CLAAS-UK said that Mashal’s murder was a gruesome act and it was very important to punish those who took part in or provoked the killing of an innocent person.

He added: “I am surprised as several people who were proud and celebrated the killing of an innocent young student have been set free.

“It looks like there are many who are not satisfied with the sentences as they believe that complete justice has not been done.

“According to media reports, KP government doesn’t seem satisfied with the decision and therefore they have decided to appeal against the acquittals of all those who walked free from court.”

Mr Saeed further said that the more important issue is to how to stop this growing mindset, stop people taking the law into their own hands and becoming the judge, jury and executioner. He said the issue is looking at how such tragic incidents can be prevented in the future so no innocent person is killed.
It is important for the Pakistani government to take measures to ensure that no such tragedies occur in the future.

He concluded: “Although there are many like me who are not fully satisfied with the court’s decision, as several others who can been seen in the video and it is believed were involved in the killing of Mashal were freed, I think justice has been done to some extent. Especially when compared to incidents like in Gojra case where eight Christians were burnt alive but nobody has been convicted, and in the cases of the Shama and Shahzad, advocate Rashid and several others where there is no hope for justice. It is the government’s reasonability to ensure justice in all those cases.