Pakistani social media activist and blogger Muhammad Bilal Khan, a well-known critic of the Army, was hacked to death in Islamabad on Sunday night, Dawn reported.
Superintendent of Police Saddar Malik Naeem said Khan had received a call asking him to go to the city’s G-9 area. Once Khan and his uncle went there, a man took the activist into a nearby forest, the police said, adding that they suspect the attackers used a dagger to murder Khan. Khan’s uncle Ehtesham was injured and is undergoing treatment at a hospital at present.
The 22-year-old had thousands of followers on Twitter, YouTube and Facebook. He used these platforms to criticise the Pakistani military as well as the country’s intelligence agency, the Inter-Services Intelligence. The hashtag #Justice4MuhammadBilalKhan was among Pakistan’s top Twitter trends on Monday. Some users on social media claimed that Khan’s criticism of the Army and the ISI led to his death. However, these allegations could not be substantiated.
The police have registered a first information report under several sections of the Pakistan Penal Code and the Anti Terrorism Act.
Khan’s father Abdullah urged the police to take stern action against his son’s murderers, and claimed the incident had evoked fear in the public. “My son’s only fault was that he spoke about the the Prophet and his companions,” Dawn quoted Abdullah as saying.