Pakistani Christian demand repeal of blasphemy law; PCP poll


Islamabad: June 9, 2012. (PCP) 85% voted in favor to repeal blasphemy law in Pakistan while 11% rejected any amendment or repeal and 4% reserved their right in poll conducted by Pakistan Christian Post PCP.

The controversial Blasphemy laws in Pakistan have targeted Christians, Hindus, Ahamdi and some Muslim sects on business rivalry and to settle scores by Sunni Muslims who are in majority. The Blasphemy law was introduced in sub-continent of India by British Colonial rulers through 1935 India Act to maintain religious harmony among different religious communities and to prevent hate speeches which carried 3 month jail and fine. The blasphemy laws maintained as part of constitution of Pakistan after independence of Pakistan in 1947 and same were legislated in constitution of 1973 of Islamic Republic of Pakistan with section 298 A and B punishable up to three to six months or fine. Military ruler General Zia-Ul-Haq in a bid to Islamization in Pakistan added Section 295 A and B in Pakistan Penal Code in blasphemy law punishable to life in prison instead of six months sentence in 1986 Premier Nawaz Sharif of Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz Group PML (N) stepped further and introduced Section 295 C PPC in blasphemy law subject to death penalty. 295-C PPC punishes on use of derogatory remarks, etc; in respect of the Holy Prophet. Whoever by words, either spoken or written or by visible representation, or by any imputation, innuendo, or insinuation, directly or indirectly, defiles the sacred name of the Holy Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) shall be punished with death, or imprisonment for life, and shall also be liable to fine 295-B PPC punishes on defiling, etc, of copy of Holy Quran. Whoever will fully defiles, damages or desecrates a copy of the Holy Quran or of an extract therefrom or uses it in any derogatory manner or for any unlawful purpose shall be punishable for imprisonment for life. From 1986 to 2012, more than 1700 hundred cases were registered under Section 295 B and C PPC against Christians and Ahamdi Muslims in Pakistan while more than 3000 cases were registered under Section 298 A, B and C PPC. Section 298 A and B PPC were legislated to target Ahamdi Muslim sect in Pakistan after 4th Amendment in Constitution of Islamic Republic of Pakistan declaring Ahamdi Muslims to be non-Muslims in Pakistan by Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto government. These Sections of blasphemy law prohibited Ahamdi Muslim to call them Muslims or to recite “Kalma” or to write Kalma on their mosques or to write Islamic wishes on their letters or invitations and defying face punishment of 3 years and fine. There have been 28 victims of blasphemy law murdered during their trials in courts by Islamic extremists and six were killed or poisoned in jail cells. None of blasphemy accused was hanged to death but released from higher courts after spending years in jails on not provision of enough evidence by complainant or prosecutors. There had been attacks on churches and worship places of Ahamdi community which killed hundreds after legislation of Section 295 B and C PPC but none was arrested and brought before law. There are laws to punish those who file false reports under blasphemy laws but government have never dared to book those Islamic extremists in Pakistan. The blasphemy law is widely misused by Islamic extremists against Christians and Ahamdi community in Pakistan while there are laws to punish those who file false reports under blasphemy laws but government have never dared to book those Islamic extremists under PPC 153 A (a), which reads as “whoever “by words, either spoken or written, or by signs, or by visible representations or otherwise, promotes or incites, or attempts to promote or incite, on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, caste or community or any other ground whatsoever, disharmony or feelings of enmity, hatred or ill-will between different religious, racial, language or regional groups or castes or communities” shall be fined and punished with imprisonment for a term that may extend to five years” PCP poll reflect true feelings of common individuals demanding repeal of controversial blasphemy laws in Pakistan.

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