Iqbal Khan, the father of Mashal Khan, has requested the Peshawar High Court (PHC) to transfer Mashal’s murder case from Mardan, citing possible threats from opponents.
In April, a vigilante mob, incited by rumours, had attacked Mashal, accusing him of "publishing blasphemous content online". The mass communication student was first beaten, then shot by the mob. He succumbed to the injuries he received.
Abdul Lateef Afridi, the lawyer for Iqbal Khan, filed the application in PHC Saturday. Iqbal Khan requested the transfer of the case to the Anti-Terrorism Court, Haripur or any other safe place, saying his adversaries might create a law and order situation.
Iqbal had made the same demands in a press conference earlier this week, where he also requested the PHC to pay his legal fee and the Supreme Court to provide protection to his daughters, who haven’t been to school since Mashal’s murder.
“Almost 57 accused have been arrested and others are hiding. The trial of such a big number of accused with witnesses and supporters of both sides can result in confrontation between the parties and thus a serious law and order situation can be created,” his application said, adding that a large number of friends and some religious parties had took to roads demanding the release of the arrested students and others involved.
It also highlighted Iqbal’s weak financial condition and said he and his family face serious threats from those involved in Mashal’s murder.
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa's Inspector General of Police Salahuddin Khan had already informed the provincial government that demands pertaining to the Mashal Khan murder case made by his father can be accepted as per the law.
The IGP, in a letter to the KP government, had recommended accepting Iqbal's demand for the appointment of a private prosecution counsel.
Iqbal Khan has already filed a petition in the Supreme Court seeking the government's financial and administrative help for relocation of his daughters and himself to Islamabad in light of alleged security threats in the province and the family's hometown of Swabi.