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QUETTA: The Balochistan Assem­bly has expressed grief over the murder of Mashal Khan by fellow students at Abdul Wali Khan University, Mardan, saying the incident had tarnished the image of religion.

Speaking on a point of order during the session presided over by Speaker Raheela Durrani, Education Minister Abdul Rahim Ziaratwal said that Mashal’s lynching was a barbaric act, emphasising that all the citizens of the country should abide by law. He said this act was against the Constitution, social values and Islamic teachings.

MPA Nasarullah Zehry said this was a test case for the government, judiciary and state institutions to provide justice to the family of Mashal Khan.

Speaker Durrani said that no further discussion should take place on the matter as it was sub judice.

Opposition member Sardar Abdul Rehman Kethran said that Mashal Khan had a status equivalent to that of a martyr.

MPA Mufti Gulab, speaking on the occasion, said that in the capacity of a religious scholar he could argue that the killing of Mashal Khan was against the principles of Sharia, adding that this was a barbaric act which was never allowed in Islam. He demanded that the killers be given exemplary punishment to create a deterrence against such acts in future. He said that Mashal Khan had only protested against the administration of the university. Prov­incial Adviser Ubaidullah Babat said that the children of influential people were being protected in the Mashal killing incident, adding that all those who were part of the mob that killed Mashal should be punished.

MPA Manzoor Kakar said that if the killers of Mashal were not punished, such incid­ents would continue to take place and dem­anded that a condemnation motion should be brought against the killing of Mashal.

MPA Prince Ahmed Ali Khan said that instead of stopping the barbaric act, the video of the incident was uploaded on the social media. MPA Husan Bano said that this reflected the growing trend of intolerance in society.

Published in Dawn, April 18th, 2017