Report by Insan Magazine: Mashal Khan, a young man from Mardan, was brutally killed in Khan Abdul Wali Khan University based on allegations of blasphemy. The current realities are not in favor of enlightened intellectuals and progressive thinkers on either side of the Durand Line; non-state actors, supportive of terrorist interest’s entities. Meanwhile, the consecutive brutal killings of intellectuals and humanists are sending a message to the world- that progressive elements will bow to the threat of terrorism and hardliner elements.
Insan Magazine has conducted an event in honor of Mashal Khan. The gathering was attended by a large number of humanists, intellectuals, and high level members of the Afghan government; including Acting Minister of Borders and Tribal Affairs, Abdul Ghafoor Lival; Afghan political philosophers Abaseen Barial, Khushal Khalil, Najeeb Nangial, Abdullah Paikar, Muhammad Yaar Yaar, Khan Wali Khan Basharmal; and social and human rights activists Jalalzai, Roohullah Ahmadzai, Esmat Baheer, Riaz Darmal, and Khalid Najeem and other prominent figures.
The many speeches were opened to the media with welcome remarks by the Chief Editor of Insan Magazine, Fahim Karim, strongly condemning the murder of Mashal Khan; calling it “an injustice and inhumane act in the history of the world”.
Acting Minister of Borders and Tribal Affairs Abdul Ghafoor Lival said, “Unfortunately, the conditions are being made against our will. We need to get rid of all extremist and terrorists elements on the both sides of Durand Line”.
A political and social activist, Abaseen Barial has also lashed out at the murder, saying that, “It is unfortunate that Mashal’s family is busy proving that he was a Muslim rather than mourning his untimely death.” He also said, “The religious educational syllabus should be monitored and turn into a humanistic curriculum.”
All the participants have lashed out at the horrible act against the young humanist, Mashal Khan. They have also blamed the present authorities of the state for security negligence in the matter.
Khan Wali Khan Basharmal said while addressing the participants and media, “The extremism against intellectuals, philosophers, and progressive thinkers is not a new thing but centuries old. Most of our intellectuals, political philosophers, artists, singers and social and human rights activists were killed in the hundreds during the era of Jihad (1978-2001) in Peshawar, Islamabad, and Lahore.” He further said, “The fundamentalism can’t be eradicated until we bring changes in our educational curriculum, national constitution, and social norms.”
Khushal Khalil said, “Unfortunately, the Pakistani establishment leaves no stone unturned against the progress and development of a historical nation on the both sides of Durand Line.” He further added, “Pakistan conceptually believes in turbulence and religious fanaticism, and unfortunately, this policy is not only disturbing to the security situations in Afghanistan and Pakistan, but places the entire region in turbulence.”
Mohammad Yaar Yaar, a political and social activist said, “We have no choice but self-introspection and standing against the dark forces in Afghanistan and across the region,” He further said, “If we couldn’t stand against the religious fanaticism then we will also be the victim in the future.”
Najeeb Nagial, a social and political activist said, “How is this possible, when more than 200 police and an army camp located near the University; but still a mob kills the young man, Mashal. The Pakistani establishment is in favor of disturbance and afraid of critical thinking.”
Another social activist, Roohullah Ahmadzai voiced his concern, “How is it possible when an academic place absorbs such elements against humanism”, and he added, “These are alarming indications for the sustainability of a peaceful region.”
Afghanistan is witness to large rallies across Afghanistan on the death of Mashal Khan. He is one innocent not so easily forgotten as the war for enlightenment against dark intolerance continues.