Tahir Naseem, Pakistani-American who was killed during the trial

Pakistan has formed a special team to investigate the killing of a Pakistani-American, who was shot dead inside a courtroom during his controversial blasphemy trial.

“A special team has been constituted to investigate the case,” the Foreign Ministry said on Saturday after the U.S. State Department called for justice for the American citizen.

The intellectually disabled Pakistani-American man, Tahir Naseem, was shot on Wednesday in the north-western city of Peshawar as a hearing on blasphemy charges against him was underway.

Tahir who is from Illinois, had been in a Pakistani jail since 2018 on blasphemy charges after he claimed to be a prophet.


The State Department had urged Pakistan to pursue reforms “that will prevent such shameful tragedy again.”

“Naseem had been lured to Pakistan by individuals, who then used Pakistan’s blasphemy laws to entrap him,” State Department deputy spokesman Cale Brown said, without giving details.

“We urge Pakistan to immediately reform its often abused blasphemy laws and its court system,” Brown added.

The alleged killer, a young man in his early 20s, was arrested and remanded in police custody by an anti-terrorism court on Thursday.

He told police that the Muslim prophet Mohammed appeared in his dream and ordered him to kill the man because he was the follower of the Ahmadiya faith, investigation officer Ijaz Ahmed told DPA.