I had only just arrived in Lahore, Pakistan when I was informed this morning of the death of my old friend Munnu Bhai. The news produced in me a profound sense of sadness and loss. I had known Munnu Bhai for a period of more than 20 years, during which we established a close and rewarding friendship. I knew him as a highly talented and respected journalist, a fine poet and a man of great culture and personal charm. He also had a wicked sense of humor and would frequently burst into bouts of uncontrollable and infectious laughter in the course of our conversations about politics, literature and philosophy.

On 22nd April, the Progressive Youth Alliance held its Lahore city-wide convention at Al Hamra Hall, dedicating the event to Mashal Khan. More than a hundred students from various universities across Lahore participated in the convention, and delegates from other cities’ universities were also present to address the convention. A new executive body was also elected. The atmosphere was one of anger, directed at the killing of Mashal Khan, a 23 year old journalism student at Abdul Wali Khan University in Mardan, who was lynched after he was falsely accused of blasphemy.

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