A man from the minority Ahmadi community in Pakistan, who was facing trial for blasphemy, was shot dead in front of the judge in a local court situated in a high-security zone in Pakistan's Peshawar city on Wednesday, July 29.
Tahir Ahmad Naseem was arrested two years ago on charges of blasphemy. He died on the spot in the court of Additional Session Judge Shaukatullah Khan.
The court is situated in a high-security zone in the cantonment area where also situated are the provincial assembly building, the Peshawar High Court, chief minister's secretariat and Governor House. There is very tight security at the main gate and inside the judicial complex, and it is not clear how the armed attacker managed to get past them and into the court.
The accused, identified as Khalid Khan, was arrested by the police from the courtroom.
The deceased's body was shifted for post-mortem to the Khyber Medical University, India Today reported.
Blasphemy is an extremely sensitive issue in Pakistan, so much that unproven allegations of blasphemy often lead to mob violence. Anyone accused or convicted of disrespecting Islam could die a tragic death in the hands of vigilantes, who often abuse the blasphey laws to seek vengeance.
The Ahmadi community was declared as non-Muslims by Pakistan's Parliament in 1974. They were banned from calling themselves Muslims a decade later.
The Ahmadi community are not allowed to preach or travel to Saudi Arabia for pilgrimage.