Last month the Federal Sharia Court (FSC) of Pakistan ordered that the death sentence will be the only punishment for a blasphemer, and that life imprisonment must be removed as an alternative sentence.
The Pakistani government has been given ultimatum till next month to execute the order and time is ending up if the decision is to be confronted.
CLAAS is concerned that if the order is followed, this law will turn out to be a Sharia law, causing many obstacles and blasphemy cases will be conducted only in Sharia courts. The original order was made in 1990 but the government disastrous attempt to execute the order and as a result 23 years later, now once again the order is being resistant.
It may be a co-incidence, but both times the order has been made, it was during Nawaz Sharif’s regime. Over a month has passed since the decision and the time limit is forthcoming, but so far the government has taken no action.
CLAAS UK Director Nasir Saeed said while expressing his fear over the situation: “Non-Muslims will have to face some restrictions and achieving justice will be an even more difficult task for them if this order is followed. We all know the blasphemy laws are being misused to settle personal scores, and this will be taken to another height and victims from religious minorities will become defenseless and more vulnerable if it became Sharia law.”
He added: “There is a long standing demand of the Islamists that blasphemy cases should be heard by the Sharia Courts. The majority of Ulemas consider it a bigger sin than apostasy. There are even some who believe that there is no need to register a case against a blasphemer and that culprits should be punished on the spot, with it being the duty of every Muslim to ensure this is done. “This mentality could prove to be very dangerous for religious minorities and the implementation of the order could see a dramatic increase in incidents of public justice and vigilante killings.”