Socialist Appeal - the Marxist voice of Labour and youth.

The brutal lynching of 23-year-old student Mashal Khan by a fundamentalist mob is a new and shocking example of the reign of terror that is being waged against progressive forces in Pakistan. We are appealing to our readings for donations to the Pakistan Trade Union Solidarity campaign and the Progressive Youth Alliance to fight this menace.

The brutal lynching of Mashal Khan, a 23 year old student of journalism in Abdul Wali Khan University, by a fundamentalist mob is a new and shocking example of the reign of terror that is being waged against left-wing and progressive forces in Pakistan. Even by the barbaric standards of fundamentalist violence, this murder was characterised by its extreme savagery. Dragged from his hostel room, Mashal Khan was battered with wooden planks before being shot dead. Not satisfied by this butchery, those cowardly murderers then proceeded to desecrate and humiliate his dead body.

[For more information, see also Pakistan: Planned student lynching leads to backlash against fundamentalism]

The imperialist hypocrites and the western “liberal” media that are always quick to denounce real or imaginary crimes in Syria remain silent about the crimes committed on a daily basis by their allies and stooges in Pakistan. Crimes like the murder of Mashal Khan do not even merit a small footnote in the press in “democratic” Britain or the USA.

But this heinous crime has aroused the anger and indignation of students and workers all over Pakistan. Protests have been held in many campuses and universities across the country. Students are demanding an end to state-sponsored terrorism. They are calling for the death penalty for the bloodthirsty murderers of Mashal Khan.

But everybody knows that no justice can be expected from the rotten, corrupt and reactionary Pakistan state. It is an open secret that the state itself is complicit in these murderous assaults. It actively supports, encourages and finances the fundamentalist organizations that carry out constant bloody atrocities that always go unpunished. The state itself is the biggest terrorist of all. Without its support, the fundamentalist gangs would collapse very swiftly.

The Progressive Youth Alliance is playing a very active role in the campaign of solidarity with Mashal Khan and his family. We express full support and solidarity with our comrades of the PYA. The IMT is one hundred percent in agreement with their position that the only way out for the youth is to fight against the state and the imperialist powers that finance and support the forces of Islamic fundamentalism in Pakistan and the whole region.

The problem goes far beyond the question of the education of the youth. In order to solve the problem of education, health, housing, unemployment and all the other evils that beset the people of Pakistan, it is necessary to take a big brush and sweep society clean of all the accumulated muck of capitalism, feudalism and imperialism.

May the campaign of protests against the vicious murder of our brother Mashal Khan continue and intensify! May it reach every campus, factory and village in Pakistan! May it develop further into an all-out struggle, not just to punish the murderers but to expose and punish those who stand behind them, hiding behind official titles and positions.

In order to cure a disease it is necessary to deal, not with the apparent symptoms but with the underlying causes. That means: the overthrow of a senile socio-economic system that is the fertile soil upon which the evils of terrorism, fundamentalism, sectarian strife, murder and mayhem can flourish and grow like poisonous weeds.

Mashal Khan was the finest representative of the most advanced and progressive youth of Pakistan. That is why he was murdered. In his hostel room portraits of Karl Marx and Che Guevera were found hanging on the walls. And among the slogans written on the walls of his room were the words: "Workers of the World Unite!"

Comrades! The workers and youth of the whole world are united in their condemnation of this dastardly act. We salute the memory of a brave fighter who was not afraid to die for the cause of justice. His death must serve as a rallying call to all those who love the cause for which he gave his life. Let our rallying cry be:

  • Avenge the murder of Mashal Khan!
  • Step up the protests!
  • Down with the system based upon corruption, oppression and violence against the people!
  • Down with capitalism, landlordism and imperialism!
  • For a workers’ and peasants’ government: the only government that will end barbaric oppression and bring justice for all!
  • Long live the Pakistan revolution!

Donate today to support the fight against the forces of reaction!

Mashal was fighting against the same system that workers and youth in Britain are also fighting against.

The PYA is continuing its campaign of protests against the gruesome murder of Mashal Khan, a left wing student activist falsely accused of “blasphemy”. The IMT and In Defence of Marxism support our Pakistani comrades in this. They need financial assistance to intensify their campaigning. Please donate generously to support their efforts.

The Progressive Youth Alliance is playing a very active role in the campaign of solidarity with Mashal Khan and his family. This Saturday (22 April), they are organising a convention of the PYA, dedicated to Mashal, and holding a rally afterwards. You can find the leaflet here and the poster for the event here. Activists from other cities are also attending this convention. They also have continuing costs for leaflets and posters in the campaign.

The right-wing reactionaries have big backers who provide huge sums. Our comrades can only count on workers and youth inside and outside Pakistan.

Please donate generously to the Progressive Youth Alliance here

We are appealing also for messages of support and sympathy from student organisations, trade unions, etc. to be sent to Pakistan. This can be done via the Pakistan Trade Union Solidarity campaign - the campaign email is This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Donations to the PTUS campaign, which fights in Britain to raise the issue of trade union struggles taking place in Pakistan, can be made through the following bank details: 

Pakistan Trade Union Solidarity
Account no. 7766 9468
Sort Code 30-64-42

Your solidarity is welcome and needed!

Model motion to condemn the barbaric murder of a student in a Pakistani university by state-sponsored Islamic fundamentalists

This student / trade union notes:

  • Mashal Khan was a 23-year-old student of journalism in Abdul Wali Khan University in Pakistan

  • He was very vocal about the injustices against students, especially poor students, in Pakistan.

  • Three days before he was murdered he gave an interview to the media in which he exposed the university administration’s corruption and spoke out against the huge fee increases by the administration and the lack of facilities for deserving students.

  • The university administration started victimising and slandering Mashal, manufacturing a false case of blasphemy against Mashal – this was proven to be false during later investigations.

  • The university administration instigated Islamic fundamentalists against Mashal and two of his friends.

  • On 13 April 2017, a 50-80 person mob went on the rampage and dragged Mashal from his room and brutally murdered him with sticks and other objects outside the hostel building, desecrating his body.

  • Fully armed police and university security staff were present, but they did nothing and watched the whole incident silently.

  • Now the university officials, police and KPK government are trying to protect the murderers.

  • This heinous crime has aroused the anger and indignation of students and workers all over Pakistan. Protests organised by the Progressive Youth Alliance Pakistan have been held on many campuses and universities across the country.

This student / trade union believes:

  • An act of barbarism was committed by fundamentalists at the behest of the university administration.

  • Mashal Khan should be commended and celebrated for trying to expose the university administration’s corruption and for campaigning against fee hikes.

This student / trade union resolves:

  • To recognise that the struggle for which Mashal Khan fought and died is, in fact, the struggle of all students – against fees, rent and corruption.

  • To condemn the barbaric murder of Mashal Khan by the university administration and Islamic fundamentalists.

  • To send a message of condolence to Mashal Khan’s family.

  • To write to Pakistan’s High Commission in London and the KPK Provincial government to arrest all perpetrators and bring them to justice.

  • To show solidarity and affiliate with the Progressive Youth Alliance Pakistan for the struggle against fee and rent increases and corruption. The affiliation fee is £100. 

Motion Proposed by:

Motion Seconded by: