Pakistan’s National Assembly unanimously passed a resolution in the wake of Mashal Khan’s cold blooded murder. This resolution has been warmly welcomed by CLAAS – a charity organization advocating for religious freedom in Pakistan. CLAAS has hailed calls to bring about amendments to the blasphemy law.
In keeping with the resolution passed by the National Assembly the lynching of 23-yr-old Mashal Khan was condemn able; while it was demanded that safety provisions must be included in the law so as to prevent its misuse in the future. The apex court of Pakistan is investigating the barbaric murder of Mashal Khan.
“This House unanimously condemns the barbaric and cold-blooded murder of Mashal Khan and resolves to ensure that strong safeguards may be inserted into the blasphemy law to prevent its abuse through such atrocities in the future, including by mobs involved in such crimes,” the resolution said. Rana Tanveer, Federal Minister for Defence Production presented this resolution.
In this regard, Nasir Saeed Director CLAAS-UK expressed contentment over the recent resolution passed by the National Assembly of Pakistan in connection to the heinous lynching. He appreciated Parliament’s resolution calling for preventive safeguards to curb the misuse of the blasphemy law and extra-judicial killings of people on the pretext of blasphemy allegations.
“It is great news as in the past whoever tried to speak about changes in the blasphemy law was shut up and even threatened with death,” Nasir Saeed said as he continued, “Those who raised their voices, like Punjab governor Salman Taseer and minority minister Shahbaz Bhatti, were killed in broad daylight, and their killers hailed as heroes.”
CLAAS-UK Director stated that Parliament’s concerns to prevent ongoing misuse of blasphemy law is ‘encouraging,’ saying that he was hopeful that the Parliament stands firm on its word and deals with this issue on priority basis.
“I wish the Pakistani parliament had taken this step and realised the sensitivity of the issue earlier, saving many innocent people who were killed for a crime they never committed. Their lives could have been saved, but it is still not too late.”
On April 13, Mashal Khan, student of journalism and mass communication at Abdul Wali Khan University in Mardan was stripped, beaten and shot by a fuming mob of fellow students on campus. Mashal’s body was desecrated inside the AWKU premises by a mob accusing him of committing ‘blasphemy.’