However, the demand for the stronger laws in favour of 95% population of Muslims was there from the beginning of the formation of Pakistan. This process began soon after the death of Jinnah in 1948, and was speeded up by Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, who nationalized Christian schools, colleges and hospitals and changed holiday from Sunday to Friday.
During his last years, Zulfikar Bhutto maintained his control over the country by using religious tactics. In 1982, Zia-ul-Haq took over the reign of the government by force. When Zia snatched power from Bhutto to be the supreme authority himself, he used religious tactics in a more extreme way. He used the weapon of religion to please the mullahs (Muslim clergy). Through his Martial Ordinances in 1980, 1982 and 1984, he declared that Ahmdis, a minority group within Islam, were not Muslims.
The main goal of Zia-ul-Haq was to tighten the grip of his reign with the weapon of the extreme use of terror. When the rest of the world was thinking of removing the death penalty because it has not been able to decrease crimes, Zia vehemently supported it. Zia never converted any death penalty into life imprisonment though he received petitions for clemency several times. One of the victims whom he could treat mercifully was his friend and promoter-- Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, the Prime Minister of Pakistan. He approved his death by hanging. It would not be correct to say that Zia did that in the name of justice. If that were so, he would not have gotten himself declared above the law.
If Zia were for justice, there would not have been a sharp increase in the number of cruel, inhuman and degrading punishments handed down by the military courts. "The enactment of religious laws on drinking, adultery and theft have not reduced crimes, but have significantly broadened the opportunities for corruption. Smuggling, gambling, prostitution, and bootlegging thrive under the protection of powerful functionaries."1
"In 1986, Zia's handpicked Majlis (parliament) promulgated Section 295(C) stipulating life imprisonment or death for denigrating the Prophet of Islam (PBUH) by words written or spoken or by insinuation--a definition so sweeping that it was clearly apparent that the law could be misused. In 1990, Nawaz Sharif's Federal Shariat Court amended Section 295(C), eliminating life imprisonment and making the death sentence mandatory. "As of 1996, there have been 658 blasphemy cases pending against 2467 persons. Five more have been added in 1998."2
Below are the blasphemy laws:
295-A : Use of derogatory remarks, etc., in respect of holy personages: Whoever by words, either spoken or written, or by visible representation, or by any imputation, innuendo or insinuation, directly or indirectly defiles a sacred name of any wife (Ummul Mumineen), or members of the family (Ahle-bait), of the Holy Prophet (PBUH), or any of the righteous Caliphs (Khulafa-e-Rashideen) or companions (Sahaaba) of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to three years, or with fine, or with both.
295-B : Defiling, etc. of copy of Holy Quran: Whoever wilfully 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.
295-C : 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.
298-B : Misuse of epithet, descriptions and titles, etc. reserved for certain holy personages or places:
(1) Any person or the Quadiani group or the Lahori group (who call themselves Ahmadis or by any other name) who by words, either spoken or written or by visible representation :-
(a) refers to, or addresses, any person, other than a Caliph or companion of the Holy Prophet Mohammad (PBUH), as "Ameerul Momneen", "Sahaabi" or "Razi Allah Anho";
(b) refers to or addresses, any person, other than a wife of the Holy Prophet Mohammed (PBUH), as Ummul-Mumineen;
(c) refers to, or addresses, any person, other than a member of the family (Ahle-Bait) of the Holy Prophet Mohammed (PBUH), as Ahle-Bait; or (d) refer to, or names, or calls, his place of worship as Masjid; shall be punished with imprisonment or either description for a term that may extend to three years, and shall also be liable to fine.
(2) Any person of the Qadianigroup or Lahore group, (who call themselves Ahmadis or by any other names), who by words, either spoken or written, or by visible representations, refers to the mode or form of call to prayers followed by his faith as "Azan" or recite Azan as used by the Muslims, shall be punished with imprisonment or either description for a term which may extend to three years and shall also be liable to fine.
298-C : Persons of Qadiani group, etc. calling himself a Muslim or preaching or propagating his faith: Any person of the Quadiani group or the Lahori group (who call themselves Ahmadis or any other name), who, directly or indirectly, posses himself as a Muslim, or calls, or refers to, his faith as Islam, or preaches or propagates his faith, invites others to accept his faith, by words, either spoken or written, or by visible representation or in any manner whatsoever outrages the religious feelings of Muslims, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to three years and shall also be liable to fine.3
"Before the 1980s, Section 295-A of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC) dealt with defiling objects or places and outraging religious feelings with deliberate intent to insult the religion of any class. It carried a maximum punishment of 10 years with a fine.
"From 1980 to 1986, the PPC was amended to include punishment for blasphemy or insulting the feelings of Muslims. The most serious was Section 295-C, added in 1996.
"Section 295-C provides that 'whoever by word, either spoken or written or by visible representation or by imputation, innuendo, or insinuation, directly or indirectly defiles the sacred name of the holy prophet Mohammed shall be punished with death, or imprisonment for life, and shall be liable to fine.'4
The law was challenged in the Islamic court to prove that the life imprisonment was repugnant to the Koran. As a result, life imprisonment was removed. The Islamic court ruled in October 1990 that the punishment according to Islam was death. On May 1, 1991, death punishment became mandatory for those found guilty under the new statute.
One serious fault with the Penal Code 295-C is that it does not define where defilement starts and where it ends. It defines the death penalty but does not define the crime. For instance, laws in democratic nations first define stealing and then crime and penalty. So it is with other crimes. But the blasphemy laws are confusing. It appears that the laws were produced deliberatly in this way to confound human rights activists and critics.
At a Karachi rally in protest of Bishop John Joseph's death, Arnold Heredia, the Secretary of the Commission for Peace and Justice, said that "they did not believe in Blasphemy Law since it was an ambiguous passage to the level that Justice Dorab Patel used to term it as world's most vague law."5
"The blasphemy laws of Pakistan, while purporting to protect Islam and the religious sensitivities of the Muslim majority of Pakistan, are vaguely formulated and arbitrarily enforced by the police and the judiciary; as such they permit, even invite, abuse and the harassment and persecution of minorities in Pakistan. They go against the spirit of the preamble of the United Nations Declaration on the Elimination of All Forms of Intolerance and of Discrimination Based on Religion and Belief proclaimed by the General Assembly in November 1981 which clearly states: >it is essential to promote understanding, tolerance and respect in matters relating to freedom of religion and belief and to ensure that the use of religion and belief for ends inconsistent with the Charter of the United Nations, other relevant instruments of the United Nations and the purposes and principles of the present Declaration is inadmissible..."6
The motive of the crime should play a key role in the decision-making process. It is important to include clauses about the intentions of criminals to protect the innocent. For instance, a person who takes his own book in a library and replaces it by mistake with the book of the library that he is reading, cannot be called a thief because the action happenes unintentionally. The blasphemy laws do not have such clauses. That is why, among others, The Frontier Post condemns the laws in the strongest possible way, terming them inhuman and against Islam. The newspaper comments:
"Under Section 295-C PPC, one of the sections under which three were charged, (Manzoor, Rahmet and Salamat) there is no reference to motive that is of crucial
significance in criminal law. To this extent it is a departure from other similar laws as well... There is little doubt that the law is being misused to settle personal scores ..."7
The law says that anything against Mohammad. What is it that is against? Even among Muslims there are different sects who differ about the prophethood of Mohammed. All of them can be held responsible for saying something against prophet Mohammed. Who is right in this case? Concepts, faiths and treatments are so different within Islam that everything could be considered as blasphemy.
It could be illustrated through an example of the money that is paid by the bridegroom for the bride in Muslim religion. In some places in Pakistan, a price is settled and paid before marriage is solemnized among Muslims. In Pakistan itself, this practice is considered bad by a section of Muslims. Any talk about the price for the bride is taken as an insult. Both the sections belong to the same Islamic religion.
To serve justice properly, it is essential that a law should explain its extent and purpose before it is implemented. What lawyers and judges will do with the law that does not explain the crime, and penalty is no less than death.
Besides, there is so much religious and social pressure on judges and lawyers that they do not want to create problems for themselves by going against the trend of the country. There is a problem for police as well. If they do not arrest the alleged criminal, the peace can be disturbed. The police would register the case if there is an accuser. In most cases, the accused were never asked to describe their part of the story-- only an accusation was enough to register the case, and to put the alleged criminal behind the bars.
Another serious flaw in these laws is that there is nothing to check their misuse. The law that is impotent to defend the innocent cannot be effective. Under the blasphemy laws, the culprits have become false witnesses and false accusers. It is because there are no provisions in these laws to punish false accusers. They are not even arrested.
How to stop the misuse of the blasphemy laws is a question that the majority class of Pakistan does not want to legislate or even suggest. The majority does not want to find out why in the span of 35 years before Zia, there were only six cases of blasphemy. After the introduction of these blasphemy laws by Zia there were more than 700 such cases in the first fifteen years. Those who were freed by the superior courts were not freed in the real sense. In most cases, the mobs took the law in their own hands. Those who were freed had to seek asylum in other countries. Obviously, there is something wrong with the blasphemy laws. The misusers of the laws should be given the same punishment-- a death penalty. Moreover, the majority should be educated to start thinking in terms of human rights as well. Bishop John Joseph was correct when he said in his last letter:
"295 C is the greatest block in the good and harmonious relations between Muslims and the religious minorities in Pakistan. In order to achieve national harmony, let us give a mighty push to this immense boulder, before it crushes all of us. Once this obstacle is away, each Pakistani will be able to live and work in peace and our beloved Motherland, Pakistan, will prosper. Let us pray continuously, for it, publicly and in private, throughout the country. Amen."8
M.R. Farooqi, supports the Bishop when he says:
"If Dr. Joseph has expressed his will, asking Christians and non-Muslims to carry out protests and demonstration against misuse of 295C, then why only Christians and non-Muslims. Let all Muslims also join our Christian brethren. To protect the life of a Christian is as obligatory for a Muslim as to protect his own life. Why the non-Muslim minority want to isolate them, when for a noble cause their Muslim brethren will be too happy to join them shoulder to shoulder."9
The purpose of a law should be to stop crimes. It seems that the purpose of the blasphemy laws is not to stop crimes, but to kill the alleged criminals. Bishop Rumalshah in his presentation before the Committee on Foreign Relations of the United States Senate states:
"The intent behind this law seems perfectly reasonable because we should respect the great leaders of all religions. Such a law is there simply to counter any disrespect to such persons. Unfortunately, great problems arise when these laws get exploited and abused. In Pakistan, for us Christians and other religious minorities, the misuse of this law by members of the majority community has achieved draconian proportions. Its burgeoning and wide spread use since 1986 has caused panic in my community, as well as to other religious minorities. It is indeed like a Damocles sword hanging over our heads. It has been used by private citizens to settle old scores and to take out vendettas. There have been
some frightening incidents related to it. The worst aspect is that 90% of such cases never reach a court of law; the mobs resolve these cases in impromptu "Kangaroo Court". And even if they do reach court, the courts increasingly tend to lean towards the Muslim accuser, whose single testimony is enough proof of the crime and, of course, the witness of a Christian is not even admissible."10
In addition to the absence of deterrent elements, the blasphemy laws are destructive in nature. They have spread the culture of fear. Referring to death penalties, a study of Amnesty International states:
"It is always dangerous to retain the death penalty. Under any judicial system, an innocent person may be sentenced to death, and the punishment is irreversible. In August 1994, when setting aside a death sentence in a murder case, the Supreme Court in Pakistan observed that the sentence had been seriously flawed and suffered from lack of jurisdiction, gross carelessness and illegality. It added, `the error committed by the court...is so serious that had the accused eventually been hanged, we are afraid it would have amounted to murder through judicial process.' ...Amnesty International agrees with the assessment of the director of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, I.A. Rahman, who said : `Even in countries where the system of justice is unexceptionally sound, the death penalty is considered a miscarriage of justice. Considering the state our system of justice has fallen into and the known penchant of police for prosecuting the innocent even when the guilty ones can be apprehended, in Pakistan the death penalty can only be described as unmitigated bestiality.' "Frequently, when a gruesome murder, gang-rape or dramatic shoot-out is reported, the authorities have announced and the public demanded that the culprits be publicly hanged. The truth, however, is that the death penalty is no more of a deterrent than other punishments.... A UN Committee on Crime Prevention and Control concluded in 1988 that `research has failed to provide scientific proof that executions have a greater deterrent effect than life imprisonment. Such proof is unlikely to be forthcoming. The evidence as a whole still gives no positive support to the deterrent hypothesis.'"11
About the problems which these laws have created, Bishop John Joseph writes:
"One reason why we are especially targeting death sentences in 295 C is that this is the greatest obstacle in the Christian Muslim Relations. As the target given to us by our master, Jesus Christ, is that all may be one, we shall remove this obstacle to fraternal unity, cost what it may! After consulting various groups who are working for human rights, we shall give an ultimatum to the government, fixing a date for the repeal of a death sentence from the Blasphemy Law. Otherwise, we shall protest in such a way that the government will really be astonished!"12
Normally a government feels obliged to make laws against something that is disturbing the peace of the country. For instance, Canada often faced the situation of violence. To curb violence, the Canadian Government had to pass laws to control guns. In Pakistan, there was no need for any government to make blasphemy laws because such offenses were not heard. Pakistan society was tolerant. It was only after the implementation of these laws, such cases began to multiply and the society began to grow more and more intolerant. Surprisingly, the words which parliament had to invent for these laws were non-existent in the vocabulary of the local and national languages. It is because such cases did not happen before.
While addressing a Christian rally, Dr. Shamshad Sanaullah, a Christian leader and educator, stated: "there was no need of introducing this law for Muslims who were in majority while the minority could not dare involve them in any such act."13
Moreover, it is the duty of law to protect the weaker section. The blasphemy laws do not have such clauses and have failed to protect innocents. Under the blasphemy laws, the accusers have taken laws of the country in their own hands and have killed many accused, including Manzoor Masih and Iqbal Tahir.
On top of all, these laws were introduced by a body which was not elected democratically. These laws were passed by a Government which was formed by the Martial Administrator General Zia. Bishop John Joseph expressed his concerns in 1997:
"In the last twenty despotic years, minorities in Pakistan have suffered most. In this black era unjust amendments were made e.g. amendments B&C to the Blasphemy Law, which bloodthirsty paragraphs opened the floodgates of religious persecution. The religious fundamentalists became extremists, believing they have the duty and obligation to annihilate anyone who does not share their brand of faith, either through threats or through outright killings. "14
It is not fair to impose the blasphemy laws on non-Muslims because they do not consider Mohammed as their prophet. There are also irreligious people. To compel them for a particular belief is against the democratic principal of one's right for expression.
To expect Jews, Parsis, Hindus and Christians to accept Mohammed even if they have never heard anything about him is not right. It is like punishing a blind man because he does not know what colour is the moon or the deaf because he cannot hear the voice of his accuser.
It is believed that the honours of prophethood were granted to selected persons by God. It would be demeaning the honour to think that a person has power to defile that honour.
Usually, authorities try to find the mental condition of criminals. They might have suffered from permanent or temporary insanity, or were excited to commit the crime. Also laws take the age of the criminal into consideration, and create a satisfactory situation to produce liable witnesses.
Nothing like these factors were considered when these blasphemy laws were framed. It seems the framers of these laws were either ignorant of the basic norms, or they were in a hurry to spread a wave of terror in the country.
The blasphemy laws give the impression that the citizens had already vilified prophet Mohammed and the Koran and the country only needed laws to arrest and punish them with death by hanging. These laws also give the impression that there was no need to find out who had committed the crime, why the crime was committed, what were the motives, and the age of the criminal.
Under the blasphemy laws of Pakistan, insanes who happen to say something that may mean blasphemy to a hearer can be led to the gallows. Even a child will be taken to the gallows if knowingly or unknowingly, he or she says something that means an insult to the prophet. Salamat Masih was illiterate and 12 years old when he was condemned to death for writing something against Prophet Mohammad on the walls of a mosque.
It has happened that when non-Muslims defile the founder of Muslim religion, they are condemned to be hanged. On the other hand, if Muslims do so against the founder of non-Muslims, the Muslims are condemned to be imprisoned for a few years or are freed on monetary punishment.
This situation of inequality before law has been fomenting tension between Muslims and non-Muslims in a country which is already divided in so many ways. The National Catholic Register is right when it asks "How can religious minorities achieve equal rights in Pakistan when the legal apparatus supports the imposition of Koranic standards? ..Given the existence of prejudice and blasphemy laws, how can Christians be called equal citizens of Pakistan? The situation grows more urgent with each passing day."15
The attack on Shanti Nagar , Khanewal and other cities on the 6th of February 1997, shows the destruction that the blasphemy laws and separate electorate are causing. Commenting on the attack on the above Christian villages, Pakistan Christian Community Council states:
"The citizens who were attacked are the weaker section of the same societies which have been living for many centuries together in harmony and brotherhood but the Islamization imposed by General Zia-ul-Haq and then later on the induction of different Islamic laws, particularly the Blasphemy laws have created an atmosphere of hatred, prejudice and jealousy...16
Aziz-ud-Din Ahmad fairly observes that
"The Blasphemy Law has been applied mostly, if not always, to non-Muslims notwithstanding the fact that it is unimaginable in a society like Pakistan for a member of a religious minority to indulge in a highly provocative act of this kind. There have been cases when non-Muslims have been murdered even before being charged in a court with, or convicted for, blasphemy."17
The law encourages "Muslim extremist to stir up vigilantes to destroy and murder in the name of religion."18 The blasphemy law is "religious cleansing," and "Pakistan would be declared a terrorist state unless it either repeals or thoroughly revises the statutes."19 "The blasphemy law, loosely formulated, facilitates such miscarriages of justice. It has often been abused for reasons of a religious animosity, enhanced by economic rivalry or personal dislike." Furthermore, "The extraordinary, even abnormal powers of the President, the Federal Shariat Court, the System of Separate Electorates and the Eighth Amendment are the worst and most destructive of the germs with which the Constitution has been infested."21 It "is acquiring the potential of becoming the most divisive piece of legislation ever carried out in Pakistan."22
Ms. Amina Jilani is right when she says :
"(r)Removing the immediate cause of so much distress and misery--PPC's Section 295 B and C-- will only mean going back to the position before 1985. Surely Islam was not weaker before the Soldier of Islam (Zia-ul-Haq) arrived on the scene. Nor is Prophet Muhammad's sanctity so brittle as to acquire the protection of Pakistan's Penal Code. Was that sanctity more vulnerable before Section 295 C?... The convictions by the session courts were either wrong (illegal) or those trials were a miscarriage of justice in one way or other. There can be no other meaning of those acquittals. Over these 13 years there have been many much miscarriages of justice. Not only that. Not one of those thus acquitted is to be found enjoying his restored liberties anywhere in Pakistan. Everyone had to seek asylum abroad to stay alive. One who did not do so, or did not have time enough for it, was shot dead outside the very court that released him."23
In early July of 1994 there were rallies and campaigns against any move to amend the Blasphemy Laws. The protester called the amenders as infidels who should be killed. They targeted the prominent politicians and Christians for assassinations.
One of the targets was Iqbal Haider, the Minister for Law in the government of Benazir Bhutto. The Islamists said that the proposal for amendment is a blasphemy. They put a price of $40,000 dollars on his head. It was the Islamist leader Maulana Abdullah Darkhwasti who at a public rally on the 9th of July pronounced the price and called him an infidel. He represents the party of Islamic Clerics who enjoy a strong support in the mosques of the villages of the Punjab. The Nawa-i-Waqt said that the leader announced that the killer will be the martyr for Islam.24
On the 9th of the July, bumper stickers appeared in Lahore, seeking the support of the people to find and kill three Christian leaders of Pakistan's National Assembly. One was Julius Salik, the Minister for Family Planning. The other two were Rufus Julian and Tariq Quaiser. The call was also to kill a human right activist, Asma Jahangir, who hired her own guard for protection. The next day, the Government of Pakistan took over that protection. Asma Jahangir had provided counselling to many Christians who were implicated in blasphemy cases as well as to other minorities. She admitted that she was worried because they were mad and could do anything.
Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto devised two amendments to make the blasphemy laws difficult to misuse. One amendment was that the police should not have the authority to charge anyone under the blasphemy laws; this work should be done through courts. The other was that false accusers should be imprisoned for ten years.
According to different newspaper reports, the mullahs (Muslim clergy) came on the streets protesting continuously for ten days against amendments. After a protest outside the Pakistani Embassy on the 22nd of February, a meeting took place between Christian representatives and Pakistan's Secretary of Minority Affairs, Zulfikar Ali Quereshi, in Washington. Eleven demands were submitted to him including "eliminating laws= forbidding Christian lawyers from representing Christians against blasphemy charges;
repealing marriage laws which reduce Christians to the status of second class citizens with unequal protection before the law; restoring confiscated Christian properties, including colleges, schools and churches."25
Obviously, the blasphemy laws have brought only miseries to the nation of Pakistan. The feudal lords who are very powerful in the social, religious and political life of Pakistan support these laws to get rid of Christian farmers to occupy their lands. Zia and after him the Prime Minister Nowab Sharif wanted to create an atmosphere of terror. They succeeded largely in their designs with the help of religious parties and feudal system. Because they are afraid of extremists, lawyers do not want to represent blasphemy cases. Even children of the judges are not free from the wrath of the extremists. Benazir Bhutto was right when she said that in a country in which one can buy witnesses for rupees twenty (less than a Canadian dollar), such laws cannot work impartially. The blasphemy laws are discriminatory because they protect the majority, although the majority is being protected because of its numerical strength. These laws have been used mostly against Christians because they are more vocal than other minorities in Pakistan. These laws have proved to be divisive, dangerous and repressive, and are being used to terrorize the minorities legally.
Dictionaries describe blasphemy as something that shows disrespect to God or a religion. But the interpretation of the blasphemy laws of Pakistan has ended in weird situations. These laws have been used to turn rape victims into adulterers who have been condemned to be punished with lashes; Christian girls have been forced to accept Islam and marry their abductors; forcibly converted married women were not allowed to see their former families, including their children; alleged victims on bails waiting for their trials have been gunned down; children have been condemned to death; even after acquittals the victims were not free in real sense and had to seek asylum abroad; judges were forced to convict the alleged victims even when there was not a single witness and those who freed them were killed; Christians were not allowed to be represented by any lawyer other than a Muslim; the witness of a Christian was considered worth nothing. The list can go on and on.
Christians have become infidels along the lines of Hindus and nature worshippers. In public life, these blasphemy laws have strengthened the dragons of intolerance. In several restaurants, Christians are served food and tea in separate utensils; they are forbidden to enter certain public places; they are not allowed to rise to certain positions like that of prime minister and commander of the armed forces; in federal elections they cannot represent Muslims. These blasphemy laws have led to several bizarre behaviours which are difficult to understand by the citizens in the western democracies of today.
*1Encyclopedia of the Third World. George Thomas Kurian
*2Dawn (Pakistan). Amina Jilani, 24th of May, 1998.
*3Human Rights Monitor 97, pages 31,32,33
*4National Catholic Register. December 25, 1994
*5Frontier Post, The (Pakistan). May 11, 1998
*6Amnesty International Report, July 1994
*7Frontier Post, The (Pakistan). April 7, 1994
*8Letter that Bishop John Joseph wrote before his death.
*9Muslim, The (Pakistan). June 4, 1998, p.10
*10Being a Christian in Pakistan. Rumalshah, Rev. Munawar, Bishop of Peshawar (Church of Pakistan). A testimony presented before the Committee on Foreign Relations of the United States Senate, June 17, 1998, pages 3-4
*11PAKISTAN : Time to take human rights seriously. Amnesty International, June 1997, p.35
*12Christian Voice (Karachi, Pakistan). May 24, 1998, page 4
*13Frontier Post (Pakistan). May 11, page 3
*14Christian Voice (Karachi, Pakistan). April 20, 1997
*15National Catholic Register, The. December 25, 1994, p.6
*16Christian Community Bulletin (Pakistan). February 15, 1997, p. 3
*17Nation, The (Pakistan). "Democracy and Religious Fanaticism" by Aziz-ud-Din Ahmad, October, 25, 1994.
*18Washington Post. Oct. 21, 1992.
*19News Network International. Anglican Bishop of Lahore, July 26, 1994, p.11.
*20PAKISTAN : Time to take human rights seriously. Amnesty International, June 1997, p.35
*21Emerging Trends in Human Rights Situation in Pakistan And Global Concerns. A Report. Abid Hassan Minto, Idara-E-Amn-O-Insaf. Lahore, Pakistan. 1994, p. 46,
*22Herald magazine. Aamer Ahmed Khan. May 1994
*23Dawn (Pakistan). Amina Jilani, 28th of May 1998, page 13
*24Nawa-i-Waqt, The (Pakistan). July 10th, 1994
*25News Network International. March 26, 1993, page 10
A human rights activist and recipient of several awards, Stephen Gill has authored over twenty-five books, including poetry collections, literary criticism and novels. His poetry and prose have appeared in over three hundred and fifty publications. World peace and social concerns are the main subjects of his writing.