The father of Asma Rani, a medical student who was murdered in 2018, has pardoned her killer Mujahidullah Afridi at a function held at Sarai Naurang in Lakii Marwat district, Khyber-Pakhutnkhwa province. The murderer Mujahidullah had shot her for refusing to marry him, and had earlier this year been given a death sentence by a district and sessions court in Peshawar.
Yesterday’s function, called Nanawatai locally, was attended by local political leaders, religious figures and elders – including leaders from the Awami National Party (ANP), Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam (JUI-F) and Qaumi Watan Party (QWP). However, the Marwat Qaumi Jirga did not attend, having already announced its opposition to such an out-of-court settlement.
In January 2018, Asma Rani had been visiting her family when Mujahidullah and his accomplice Sadiqullah had shot her and fled the scene, eventually escaping to the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Before she died in hospital, Rani had identified Mujahidullah as the attacker. He was brought back to Pakistan in March 2018 on an Interpol red notice issued by the Pakistani government. The case was transferred to Peshawar after the victim’s family had requested it, since they were of the view that the accused killer’s family were very influential in Kohat. The court in Peshawar had handed down a death sentence and Rs. 300,000 fine to Mujahidullah and acquitted his accomplices.
However, in yesterday’s function at Sarai Naurang, the father of Asma Rani said that he was forgiving the killer “for the sake of Allah” and that he had only wanted to prove that Mujahidullah had been her killer. Members of both families hugged each other after the announcement of the pardon by the father.
The honourable trial court should declare the cruel and inhuman out-of- court settlement null and void and get the murderers executed.