A mob of ten students beat Pakistani student Mashal Khan to death on the Abdul Wali Kahn University campus and injured another identified as Abdullah. They accused him of “sharing blasphemous content on social media.” Reuters reported:

A group of about 10 students shouted “Allahu Akbar” during the attack on fellow student Mashal Khan, who was stripped naked and beaten with planks until his skull caved in as other students looked on, video obtained by Reuters showed.

Blasphemy is a highly sensitive topic in Muslim-majority Pakistan, where insulting the Prophet Mohammed is a capital crime that has dozens languishing on death row and where even an accusation can lead to violence.

Dawn reported that authorities have arrested 45 people “in connection with the incident by Thursday morning.” No one filed any complaints against the students, but instead reacted to rumors “circulating among the university’s student body.”

Witness Testimony

*WARNING* Graphic images in below video.

Dawn also spoke to those students who witnessed the murder:

The eyewitness said a mob of university students first surrounded Abdullah and forced him to recite verses from the Holy Quran. Although he repeatedly denied the accusation that he was an Ahmadi, the students beat him nonetheless.

The police, when alerted, reached the site of the attack and rescued Abdullah, after which the mob set its sights on Mashal, who was in the hostel at the time, the eyewitness said.

Mashal was beaten and shot by the mob and succumbed to the injuries he received.

Another witness claimed that “several leaders of the university’s student bodies were part of the attacking mob.”

Blasphemy in Pakistan

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has spoken about removing “blasphemous content online” and insisting that those who post the content should have “strict punishment under the law.”

The State Department even issued a travel warning not to travel to Pakistan due to the enforcement of blasphemy laws. From The Times of India:

“Sectarian violence remains a serious threat throughout Pakistan, and the Government of Pakistan continues to enforce blasphemy laws. Religious minority communities have been victims of targeted killings and accusations of blasphemy,” said the advisory published on the state department website.

In fact, US aviation authorities too have issued an advisory to its airmen.

“The Federal Aviation Administration has issued a NOTAM (Notice to Airmen) concerning the risks to civil aviation operating in Pakistan, particularly at low altitude, during the arrival and departure phases of flight, and when on the ground, due to extremist/militant activity,” The advisory said.

[Featured image via Twitter]