August 4, 2020

By Haider Kaleem


Local authorities in Peshawar were quick to initiate legal proceedings against Faisal, the minor who shot dead a US citizen, Tahir Ahmad Nasim, in a Peshawar court last week.

Nasim was indicted under articles 295-A, 298, and 153-A of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC) and had been on trial for the last two years.

According to the first information report (FIR) of the incident registered in the East Cantt police station Peshawar, the deceased Tahir Nasim was brought to court in handcuffs on July 29. As soon as Tahir took the stand to testify, the young man, already sitting in the courtroom abruptly stood up and opened fire. Nasim suffered multiple gunshot wounds and died on the spot.

In a video making rounds on social media Faisal alias Khalid can be seen claiming that “the Prophet (PBUH) himself appeared in his dream and asked him to shoot the false Prophet Tahir.”

As soon as news of the incident spread, thousands took to social media to shower praise on the shooter.

Following the incident, however, Faisal alias Khalid was promptly taken into custody by the police officers present at the spot. Soon after he was indicted under Articles 302 of the Pakistan Penal code (PPC), 15 of the Arms Act (AA), and 7 of the Anti-terrorist Act (ATA).

On July 30, PHC Bar Association (PHBA) issued a press release
pledging legal support for Faisal alias Khalid and his family. It further said that a six member legal team comprising senior advocates has been formulated. The team includes advocates Farman Ali, Naseer-ud-Din Shah, Ishaq Khalil, Taimur Ali, Qaiser Zaman, and Nasir Abbas.

A police official and member of the case’s investigation team, Ashfaq from East Cantt police station of Peshawar told that “As per police records, Faisal’s age is 17 but the team is still investigating to verify his actual age to proceed with the investigations”.

Faisal was remanded in police custody for four days before being produced in an ATC on Monday, August 3. Upon arrival, the shooter was greeted by a large number of galvanized lawyers.

The police and counter terrorism officials’ request for an extension in the physical remand of the suspect was rejected by the court. Instead, the court allotted a 14-day judicial remand to the police.

The Peshawar Elite Force personnel further exalted the murderer by taking a selfie with him on the way back from the court. The officials can be seen smiling with their thumbs up a clear sign of support for a person accused of committing a murder in a court of the law.

Meanwhile, legal experts are of the view that Faisal’s age is the biggest variable in this otherwise straightforward case.

“The proceedings are ongoing so it would not be wise to comment on expected outcomes but one thing is certain no matter what he did he is still a minor and cannot be awarded the death penalty by the court”, says Advocate of High Court from the Asma Jahangir Legal Aid Cell, Mr. Shabbir Hussain.