LONDON: Government of Pakistan seems to be reluctant to look into the matter of blasphemy laws being used against minorities declares an NGO.
In accordance with the Federal Shariah Court (FSC) of Pakistan ordered last month stating: the death penalty is the only punishment for a blasphemer, and that life imprisonment should be removed as an option. The Federal Shariat Court has given the Government of Pakistan time until next month to implement this verdict.
An NGO providing legal aid to the persecuted Christians in Pakistan ahs expressed concerns that: if the order is followed, this law will become a Shariah law, causing many complications and blasphemy cases will have to be heard in Shariah courts. Nonetheless, in 1990 the original order of removing life imprisonment and death was the only apt ruling for a blasphemer. The then government failed to implement the order notwithstanding the same verdict was given by the Federal Shariat Court last month requiring the government to carry out the verdict. What is noteworthy that the previous verdict of this kind was made in Nawaz Sharif’ rule and the recent verdict has also sprung forth in his rule. Appallingly more than a month has now passed and the government has shown no signs of taking steps to curb the misuse of blasphemy law against the minorities in Pakistan. According to human rights analysts the implementation of this verdict will give rise to religious intolerance in Pakistan and thus religion-based persecution will continue to rise.
Expressing worries over the worsening situation Nasir Saeed the director of the charity organization said: 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 defenceless and more vulnerable if it becomes Shariah law.
He maintained: There is a long standing demand of the Islamists that blasphemy cases should be heard by the Shariah 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.