KARACHI: The Council of Islamic Ideology applauded for proposing changes in blasphemy laws
According to details, the Pakistan Association for Mental Health (PAMH) has fervently acclaimed,” the proposals of Council of Islamic Ideology (CII) to amend blasphemy laws and to accept DNA tests as primary evidence in rape cases.”
Professor Haroon Ahmed- Psychiatrist and the PAMH President said, “The CII deserves credit that after earlier confusion, it has made a bold recommendation to the government to these laws.”
“It can be a deterrent to certain extent, however, due to fear people may not come forward to give evidence in practice,” Professor Ahmed said.
Additionally Professor Ahmed referred to the case of Rimsha Masih, a mentally challenged girl who was accused of blasphemy later vindicated of the charges in the court. The accuser, Hafiz Khalid Chishty, a Muslim cleric, was not even charged for desecrating the Holy Quran himself.
“This recommendation is a chance for the lawmakers to save innocent citizens from living under a constant threat,” Professor Ahmed continued. He went out to identify that the Rimsha Masih case as an issue of silent sufferers – the mentally handicapped who are not aware of their bizarre behaviour.
“In this mental state, they cannot differentiate between legal, illegal or blasphemy,” he added.
“There are dozens of ‘raving mad’ (psychotics) put behind bars for years and nobody wants to touch them. They are not responsible for their actions neither with intent nor in negligence and should not be charged under the blasphemy laws,” Professor Ahmed grieved over.
Professor Ahmed called upon the lawmakers on behalf of the Pakistan Association for Mental Health,(PAMH) and in excess of four million mentally challenged patients in Pakistan, in particular those in prisons, to consider the CII’s benevolent recommendation and amend the blasphemy laws.