Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) police have requested the inclusion of the name of at-large Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) Councillor Arif Khan ─ suspected of involvement in the Mashal Khan lynching ─ on the Exit Control List, District Police Officer (DPO) Mardan Dr Mian Saeed told DawnNews.
In a video that surfaced after the lynching, Arif Khan was seen warning a crowd to keep the name of the person who shot Mashal Khan secret.
Khan was initially thought to have been arrested. However, questions over his arrest were raised when senior Awami National Party (ANP) leader Bushra Gohar tweeted Tuesday night that the suspect was still at large and that a PTI MPA was trying to help him escape to Thailand.
Police officials subsequently admitted that the PTI councillor was yet to be arrested, claiming that another man by the name of Arif Khan ─ an employee of Abdul Wali Khan University (AWKU) in Mardan ─ had been arrested instead.
Police officials earlier claimed that Arif Khan could not escape the country as his passport had expired and that they were still on his trail. He was last believed to be on the run in Mohmand Agency.
On Thursday Mardan police claimed to have arrested another employee of the AWKU, identified as Ali Khan, superintendent of the university, for his alleged involvement in the killing of Mashal Khan.
Charging him in the Mashal murder FIR, police earlier in the day requested the concerned department through an official letter to put the name of Ali Khan on ECL.
Mardan DPO Dr Mian Saeed told DawnNews that so far police have arrested 49 people charged in the killing of Mashal Khan, adding that only one person, Arif Khan, PTI council, is at large.
Mian Saeed said that police believe the accused Arif Khan was hiding in tribal areas and planned on moving to Afghanistan to avoid arrest.
“We have also requested the government to put his name on ECL so that he cannot leave Pakistan,” he added.