US

SPEAK OUT

April 21, 2017
By S.G

It’s the picture of his dorm that will haunt us forever: sheets and clothes strewn across the floor, walls covered in scribbles and notes and the red carpet all left in a hurry.

Darkness in light

It’s the picture of his dorm that will haunt us forever: sheets and clothes strewn across the floor, walls covered in scribbles and notes and the red carpet all left in a hurry. Did 22-year-old Mashal know he would be beaten to death here? Was he told why he was being attacked by that hoard of unruly mob? And, did he get a chance to say goodbye to his father?

Abdul Wali Khan University has been shut down for an indefinite period of time. It has lost Mashal, one of the brightest students, at the hands of a system that suffocates freedom of expression and allows butchers to strangle hopes. It is necessary that in such hard times we say something and record our protest against this act of brutality.SPEAK OUT

“The murder of Mashal Khan in Abdul Wali Khan University, Mardan is an incident that should jolt us out of our indifference. Amidst a crowd of hundreds of young men, a student is lynched and no one seems to care. I can’t believe that this is who we are!

“Only if those murderers had studied Islam, they would have known this is not what Islam teaches us. They acted like savages who don’t know what they were doing!

 “It is time that we open our minds to others’ opinions instead of judging them according to our own ideologies and beliefs. I truly hope that the murderers are identified, arrested and are made to face their fate in our courts, and I also hope we, as the youth of Pakistan, do not ever let this happen again, not in an educational institution, nor anywhere else.” - Saniyah Eman

****************************

“This incident has also left a scar on the face of our educational system. Schools, colleges and universities are supposed to be safe havens for young people where they learn to become better citizens. Ironically, perpetrators find it easy to incite violence at these places and in the end get away quite easily. It’s pretty clear that lessons haven’t been learned from the past.” - Ilhan Syed

****************************

 “Questions should be raised and answered to put an end to this intolerance. What does this incident say about our education system? What is the purpose of getting admission in universities? 

SPEAK OUT

“We don’t just go to universities for a degree! We go there to learn to express ourselves in a way that doesn’t offend others and to respect others’ opinions and be open. How would our educational system empower students when it is not even making them humans? Who would want to speak when they know they could be beaten to death if they say something against their opponent?” - Sharmeen Zahid

****************************

“Terrorists come in every shape and form; it is not necessary that they wear a mask to hide their identity or belong to a certain religion or ethnicity. They could be living among us, and apparently Mashal became a victim of such barbarians.

“Nobody can tell what he actually did that angered a mob! Investigations are underway; reports say blasphemy was a false allegation and there were personal conflicts in the background.” - Syed Tahura

****************************

“What happened with Mashal crossed the limits of brutality. Even if Mashal was gustakh-e-Rasool the university students or any other civilian had no right to kill him without any proof. They should have filed an FIR or whatever the procedure for blasphemy is - but not this!” - Jannat Khan

****************************

 “I’ve lost all hope! We have failed as a nation. What else can we expect when our education and judicial system are a failure?”- Zeeshan Shabbir

****************************

“I couldn’t sleep! I kept asking myself how could someone do this.” - Saad Khan

****************************

“It’s not just government’s responsibility to enforce law and order; we should also play our part as citizens. Condemnation and arrests are not enough. We should look for solutions that could make sure that our universities and public spaces are safe. Statements like “It was not possible for the police to stop an armed mob” prove that we can’t guard and protect innocent citizens. Democracy sounds like a joke!

“Moreover, people from the educational sector have not yet proposed any strategy to deal with such situations in future. Indifference on their part is strange; teachers and professors should have staged protests along with their students. All the people condemning with words only should have taken to the streets to give a message to the murderers that they will not get away with this.” - Jamal Sheikh

****************************

“Such incidents are quite upsetting, especially when they make us question our education system and the kind of values that are being inculcated in our students. The government institutes have been indifferent but it’s not that they should be blamed solely. Being a professor at a private university in Karachi, I have witnessed that the system that runs most of the private universities is corrupt and is ruining the future of young citizens. All they are interested in is money. Even though I should not be surprised, I am horrified by the silence of schools, colleges and universities. They are least bothered; the admin wouldn’t even discuss it in meetings, let alone protest against it.” - Anonymous

****************************

“I wish we can realize how difficult it is to give birth and then raise a child. How impossible it is for the parents to forget the struggles they went through to send their child to school. How can anyone understand the grief of Mashal’s father? For him, this incident is nothing less than a nightmare.” - Yaseen Ahmad