Christian from Youhanabad and neighboring areas on Sunday held a peaceful protest against the exploitation of the Pakistan’s blasphemy laws.
The protesters commanded by Rufus Solomon and Asif Sohail Khokhar minorities leaders of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) demonstrated against the deliberate exploitation of the blasphemy laws specifically against the minority Christian communal.
While addressing the protesters, Rufus Solomon said that the recent death sentences dispensed to Sawan Masih, and Christian couple Shafqat and Shagufta Emmanuel over alleged blasphemous text messages sent to local Muslims in Gojra, had stunned the Christians.
“It’s a pity that these three people were convicted even though there was no concrete evidence against them. We strongly protest the blatant misuse of blasphemy laws to target the minority communities to settle personal scores and vendettas,” he said, adding that it had been perceived that in most cases the judges were pressurized by local priests and vigilante groups into sentencing innocent people. He said that the Christians consistently demanded that the High Court should review the judgments in light of evidence against the suspects and convey justice to them.
The PTI minorities’ leader also lashed out at the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government, saying that persecution of minorities had always spiked whenever the PML-N came into power.
“Christians are being persecuted under the blasphemy laws while there has been an increase in attacks on Hindu temples in Sindh. We demand the PML-N and PPP governments in Punjab and Sindh, respectively, to ensure protection of minorities in their provinces,” he said.
Addressing the protesters, Asif Sohail Khokhar said that it was an open secret that the blasphemy laws were being misused against minorities and the majority Muslims alike.
“Government must ensure that no innocent person is victimized through the misuse of these laws,” he said.
The protesters dispersed peaceably after enclosing their protest.