Blasphemous cartoon published in print and online version of Express Tribune agitated Christians in Pakistan, who took it to social media and slammed the blasphemous caricature. The cartoon mocked the recent hike in electricity tariff depicting the power price surge as crucifixion. Crucifix is considered sacred by Christians, who deemed this cartoon as blasphemous and demanded action against the perpetrators.
The irreverent cartoon was published on October 26, following a strong reprisal from the Pakistani Christians. Consequently, on October 28, Express Tribune published an apology explaining that the publication was not intentional. “The Express Tribune apologises to its readers for the political cartoon published in the newspaper’s edition of October 26.
The imagery used in the cartoon has deeply hurt the sensibilities of our citizens and therefore conflicts with the strong editorial and ethical standards we have otherwise set for ourselves,” the apology read.
It was stated that the management was taking action against those found responsible. “We assure our readers that utmost efforts will be undertaken in the future to ensure that such material does not find itself into print, web and online editions again. We are committed to upholding the highest standards of responsible journalism while realising that our readers expect nothing less from us.”
Getting into a defensive stance, the Express Tribune maintained that “There was never any intent to hurt the sensitivities of any particular community or group. Any such purported depiction is purely coincidental and inadvertent. The lapse in judgement is deeply regretted.”