PPC condemns filing of blasphemy case against activist<br>By Our Reporter
21 Jan 2002
ISLAMABAD, Feb 18: The Pakistan Peace Coalition (PPC) has condemned the blasphemy charge made against an activist of Kutcha Abadi from Peshawar, under the infamous section 295 (CC) of the Pakistan Penal Code.
Mr Amjad Shola has been in jail in Peshawar for the last few weeks for protesting the demolition of Kutcha Abadis by the administration of Pakistan Railways, according to a PPC press release issued on Monday.
Pakistan Railways has embarked on a massive eviction drive in Peshawar, Sahiwal and Rawalpindi, and is likely to extend this drive to other cities such as Karachi and Quetta.
The PPC has also condemned the local authorities in Peshawar for lodging a blasphemy case against Amjad Shola. It is clear that he did not commit any crime and that he is being victimized for his role in a struggle for the basic right of the urban poor.
Similarly, local authorities in Rawalpindi and Sahiwal have recently filed a number of cases against Kutcha Abadi activists, and have used force with women. This in an alarming situation because it indicates that the state is using its policy shift on extremism to target people, who are fighting to protest common citizen's basic rights.
While PPC has supported the government's initiatives on extremism, it is concerned that this is not accompanied by genuine measures to make a paradigm shift so that people's basic rights are protected.