Peshawar High Court (PHC) Chief Justice Yahya Afridi on Thursday ordered the transfer of the Mashal Khan murder case from Mardan to an Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) in Haripur jail after Khan’s father requested the move fearing “influential adversaries”.
A two-judge bench comprising Justice Afridi and Justice Ishtiaq Ibrahim heard Muhammad Iqbal Khan’s plea requesting transfer of the case from Mardan amid fears that adversaries may create a law and order situation in the area. Additional Advocate General Mian Irshad told the court today that although no district in the province faces any security risks, the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government would take all security measures necessary to ensure a fair trial. Subsequently, as per Iqbal’s wishes, the case the will now be heard by an ATC in Haripur jail.
Iqbal in his petition had also requested the PHC pay his legal fee, and the Supreme Court provide protection to his daughters, who haven’t been to school since Mashal’s murder.
Iqbal’s application said that almost 57 accused had been arrested, while others remained in hiding. The trial of such a large number of accused with witnesses and supporters of both sides could result in confrontation between the parties.