Muhammad Bilal Khan was lured into a trap and left dying in a bush. He had become famous for criticising the Sunni-Shia divide and the failure to resolve the disappearances of activists. Many Pakistanis demands justice.
Islamabad (AsiaNews) – Muhammad Bilal Khan, a famous 22-year-old Pakistani blogger, was stabbed to death last Sunday in Islamabad, sparking sparked outrage among Pakistanis.
Despite his young age, he was known for his critical views on many sensitive issues, like the religious divide between Shias and Sunnis, and the disappearance of people, allegedly abducted by the military or intelligence services.
His final post on the day of his death he made a sarcastic comment about the new head of the Pakistani secret services, hard-line General Faiz Hameed.
Khan’s death is the latest in a series of incidents in which intellectuals have been reduced to silence, either by threats or physical elimination.
Police stated that the popular blogger was left dying in a wooded area in Islamabad’s G-9/4 sector. He had had received a phone call and had gone to meet someone accompanied by an uncle. The latter was injured in the attack, but managed to sound the alarm. Bilal's father said that his son’s body showed several wounds inflicted with a sharp tool.
Quickly, the news of his death was all over social media, where the blogger-journalist had a loyal following: 19,000 followers on Twitter, more than 53,000 subscribers on YouTube, and some 30,000 followers on Facebook, plus more than 25,000 likes.
Many activists want justice for Bilal. Marvi Sirmed, a member of the executive council of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, wrote on Twitter: "Mr. Khan and I disagreed strongly. He was against everything that I ever stood for. But he didn't deserve to die like this. I strongly condemn his brutal murder and demand justice for him. My heart-felt condolences to his family and friends. May he rest in peace. Amen.”
Gul Bukhari, a journalist abducted last year in Lahore and then released, twitted back: "Very well said. The murder is highly condemnable. Snuffing out a young life like this is unacceptable.”
Human Rights Minister Shireen Mazari reacted to the murder saying that the government will investigate the incident.
I “Strongly condemn the murder of Bilal Khan. Disagreement and opposition to someone’s views simply cannot be translated into killing the person. Government must and it will investigate and punish the killers — it is our responsibility to keep all our citizens secure under rule of law,” she tweeted.