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Neighbours apologise to Mashal's family for indifference

Updated Apr 21, 2017 10:30am

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Local people stage rally in Swabi on Thursday to express solidarity with Mashal Khan. Dawn
Local people stage rally in Swabi on Thursday to express solidarity with Mashal Khan. Dawn

SWABI: The residents of Mashal Khan’s native town, Zaida, on Thursday gathered at the grave of the Abdul Wali Khan University student lynched by a mob over the alleged blasphemy lately and apologised to the deceased and his family for failing to ‘stand with them in crisis.’

“Please forgive us (Mashal’s father) Iqbal Lala for giving you severe pain by showing indifference when you faced such a grave crisis. We also seek forgiveness from the departed soul,” a local resident said at the student’s grave.

He said the villagers acknowledged that they made a mistake by initially not standing with the family.

The people later laid a wreath at the student’s grave and offered fateha for him.

They also staged a demonstration to demand justice for the student’s family through punishment of killers and accomplices.

The 23-year-old student was killed and another seriously injured by a vigilante mob for allegedly ‘publishing blasphemous content online.’

The incident occurred on the university premises. The campus was shut down following the incident until further notice and its hostels vacated to avoid a further escalation of violence.

Dozens of people have been arrested in connection with the incident.

Earlier, the Pakhtunkhwa Ulasi Tehreek held a rally in Zaida against the lynching incident.

The protesters gathered in the town’s main market and marched through it before going to Mashal’s grave to offer fateha.

Members of the local government, political workers, civil society activists, traders and people from other walks of life participated in the rally.

The protesters complained that despite claims of the provincial police chief for speedy action against Mashal’s killers and accomplices, some of the lynching incident suspects were still at large.

Holding placards against the incident, they shouted slogans against the culpable people.

The speakers, including political leaders and traders, demanded that the killers and accomplices be given exemplary punishment for the early dispensation of justice to Mashal’s family. They also called for the early arrest of the culprits. The protesters later dispersed peacefully.

Meanwhile, Sherin Yar, a resident of Zarobai village and a close friend of Mashal’s father, is reported to have arranged the student’s funeral before ensuring its trouble-free holding.

Liaquat Yousafzai, a friend of Sherin, told Dawn that when he and his friend reached Zaida city’s main eidgah to arrange the funeral, a hostile environment confronted them.

“Mr Sherin called his friends from Zaida city for help, who showed up in no time. Their arrival was a great encouragement for us and others. Thereafter, the people began pouring in,” he said.

A member of Mashal’s family said Mr Sherin was one of best friends of Mohammad Iqbal.

He said Nisar Khan, a resident of Zaida city, also played a major role in the holding of the funeral.

Published in Dawn, April 21st, 2017

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Comments (33)

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Abrar Apr 21, 2017 10:04am

Salute to the brave friends of deceased's dad, who set an example by confronting the hostile environment and arranging the funeral. Even more than that, they came to rescue the bereaved family, which was in real trouble, on one hand, for the grusome murder of their young son and, on the other, having had to confront unending hostilities from neighbors. All prayers for the eternal peace to the soul of Mashal, fortitute to the entire family and special blessings to Sherin, Liaquat and friends. Amen

Sameer Apr 21, 2017 10:22am

A Mashal that is no more. Be in peace my friend.

SYED ANJUM ALI Apr 21, 2017 10:24am

Many blessings unto the soul of departed Mashal Khan and many prayers for his family and friends. I think the whole of Pakistan needs to now develop a positive and compassionate approach , we should simply stop listening to the negative views and hate-filled sermons of mullahs and we should cultivate the real Islamic values in our hearts. Lets us conquer and defeat evil and bigotry by love .

Mansoor Apr 21, 2017 10:43am

Thank you Mr Sherin Yar, Liaquat Yousazai and Nasir Khan for standing by when the world was crashing down on your friend. I also salute the women of the town who protested the day after the event which was unexpected in the culture where women are kept behind walls. They were the real hero and showed the light which fanatics tried to extinguish by killing Mashal.

Majid Apr 21, 2017 10:53am

That's very courageous of the people of Swabi.

no commments Apr 21, 2017 10:57am

its too late to mend !!

anonymous Apr 21, 2017 11:01am

Its about time!

Virumandi Apr 21, 2017 11:01am

Everything will be reversed within a second if he had been proved guilty.

anonymous Apr 21, 2017 11:06am

Thank God for the friends who had supported the family during this terrible time.

Taurious Apr 21, 2017 11:19am

"Too late" ...a "innocent life has been taken" cannot be "forgiven" for such a crime.

Faiza hassan Apr 21, 2017 11:28am

ideally the whole nation should apologies to Mashal parents' but only the people of KPK have these guts

Sajid sajjad abbasi Apr 21, 2017 11:35am

We should consider everyone innocent before proven guilty rather than being the other way around... It's good that people have started realizing the truth.

shafi Apr 21, 2017 11:45am

and we talk about human rights violation in Kashmir!. What an Irony.

rich Apr 21, 2017 11:49am

god bless people like sherin

these are the people who will be in heaven, bec they are human, and do not pretend to be saints

a good gesture also now from the neighbour, a big moral support for the family

entire pakistn should stand up, with morcha ect till the culprits are not in priso, and tried for murder in military court

my dear pakistanis the future is now in your hand, how u want a country to be?

Enayat Apr 21, 2017 12:22pm

No use to cry over spilt milk

Khan Apr 21, 2017 12:32pm

Kind gesture, but the fact that they initially shunned the family is much more significant.

M.Saeed Apr 21, 2017 12:39pm

Belated repentance! But, this is a grave reality that, the insufficiently protected law is aggravating its misuse. Need to act fast for doing the needful.

kamran Apr 21, 2017 01:18pm

@SAMEER, A Mashal who shall always be, Be in peace my friend.

ConcerneD Apr 21, 2017 01:22pm

The local mullah who refused to lead janaza prayer should be removed from the masjid.

Asif Apr 21, 2017 02:11pm

I have always admired the thinking, the bravery and the the determination from KPK people. Very well done.

Zak Apr 21, 2017 02:12pm

Mashal khan my brother, the police and the university admin let you down. You are gone, but all of Pakistan mourns your unjust death at the hands of those who used religion to settle a political score. We salute the good friends of Mashals father as they showed they are real pakistanis and muslims. We salute and pray for Your father and family , who suffer your great loss with dignity and grace. Your demise is pakistans loss.

Noor Apr 21, 2017 03:05pm

Great persons like Mr Sherin Yar, Liaquat Yousazai and Nasir Khan shall always be remembered for their good deed. They stood side by side with Family of Mashal Khan. They genuinely raised the Islamic values and teachings of Nabi kareem SAWS. My all prayers and sympathies with grieved family.

citizen Apr 21, 2017 03:29pm

Too late..Too little....

Usman Apr 21, 2017 03:53pm

Our Pakistan is changing

Javed Apr 21, 2017 04:20pm

It would be a great show of solidarity with the heartbroken Mashal family if all progressive political parties took out a joint rally in his memorial.

Khan-haqiqi Apr 21, 2017 04:24pm

Salute to brace friends of Mashaal father and to the people who realize their mistakes and apologies

SYED SHAREEF Apr 21, 2017 07:20pm

Better late than never. No hope for Justice when we misuse and abuse the law and let the emotion takes control of what our prophet and religion has taught us. It show how low understanding we have about our prophet and our religion.

talat Apr 21, 2017 07:33pm

Bless the people who were brave when facing adversity - true friends

azam khan Apr 21, 2017 09:04pm

@Enayat, it is better to cry over spilled milk as one will remember not to make the same mistake again

flipflop Apr 21, 2017 09:08pm

On the day of judgement these people will be answerable. Not even once the Prophet ordered to take a life over blasphemous charges or due to being indifferent. This shows how little knowledge we have about our own religion. I feel this law is enforced just to keep certain parties in the country happy. This keeps fueling extremism in the country and if this continues then we have fallen as Muslims, as a nation, and as humans. People have failed Pakistan !

anony Apr 22, 2017 02:25am

In unity there is strength.

Alba Apr 22, 2017 04:26am

This is an honest and good reaction, even an emotion one from the neighbors. It is a nice thing to do. The family is still in shock and need their support.

Nasir London Apr 24, 2017 01:00am

A friend in need is a friend indeed.