killing in the name of religion is sad and unacceptable

A 13-member joint investigation team (JIT) has concluded that the lynching of student Mashal Khan was premeditated and no proof was found that he had committed blasphemy. 

Instead its report concluded Mashal was a victim of a conspiracy hatched by some student leaders and university employees as blasphemy allegations levelled against him were baseless.

According to the report, some people at Murdan university had said that Mashal needed to be “removed”.

The JIT report said Mashal had been vocal about the rights of students at the university and even challenged the appointment of a new vice chancellor at the university.

According to the report, says before he was killed, Mashal gave an interview to Khyber news channel and spoke against activities at the university and the administration.

The JIT also investigated the role of the police in the incident and subsequently recommended an inquiry into the negligence of police officials.

Nasir Saeed director CLAAS-UK said the killing of Mashal in the name of religion is sad and unacceptable and unfortunately this is not the first incident of this kind but there is a history of such concocted cases.

He said: “The recent JIT report has once again proved that the blasphemy law is being misused to settle personnel scores and grudges. 

“But sadly there is not much hope that our government and politicians will take notice of this issue to stop the ongoing misuse of this law which is being used as a tool to kill innocent people. 

“This report is another wakeup call for the government to take this matter seriously and bring some legislation to stop the further misuse of the blasphemy law.  

“This is not the first time it has been proved through the government’s own reports that the blasphemy laws. is being misused.”

In 2009 justice Iqbal Hameed ur Rehman’s report warned the government that “the Gojra tragedy where eight Christians were burnt alive, must be taken seriously and the needful [should] be done on war-footing without further loss of time” the report further proposed amendment in the blasphemy law but since then the government has taken no action and has been oblivious.

Repeated international calls have been falling on the deaf ears of the government.

Mr Saeed added: “Although the national assembly recently passed a resolution to bring legislation to stop the misuse of the blasphemy law, keeping in view the present political scenario in Pakistan, having any expectation in this regard is futile.

“Sadly this law will continue to be misused and innocent people like Mashal, Shama and Shahzad, and many others will continue to be killed in the name of religion.”

 

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