The phenomenon of accusing Christians of committing blasphemy has been on the higher side in past year.
According to details, last year saw the highest number of blasphemy cases registered in Pakistan. This was revealed during a seminar held recently in Karachi. The seminar was titled, “Human Rights, Religious freedom, Social Inclusion & Political Participation of Minority.” Pakistan Institute of Labour Education and Research (PILER) had organised the seminar.
In line with details, a senior lawyer of Pakistan Syed Mumtaz Shah while addressing the audience at the seminar stated that in 2014, the record numbers of 14,00 blasphemy cases were registered in Pakistan. This was, as explained by him, the highest number as compared to recent years.
Last year, the phenomenon of blasphemy cases was reached apex if record of last few years was compared. He said this was a disquieting situation as the rising trend points out to growing religious intolerance in the country. A considerable number of cases were registered against Christians and as is general trend blasphemy accusations are followed by mobs attacking the family and houses of the accused.
This seminar was attended by various representatives from civil society, leaders from various walks of life and people from different religions. It was revealed at the seminar that out of 14, 00- 800 cases were registered against Muslims. The participants were all of same accord that “Muslims should take to the streets against the abuse of this law.”
On the other hand, the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP), noted that during 2014, out of all the 14,00 blasphemy cases the Pakistani courts sentenced three people to death and six to life imprisonment, while three other culprits received two years’ detention for blasphemy.
Another participant of the seminar, Nisar Shar- who is a spokesman for the lawyers association in Karachi, said, “Even for lawyers it has become dangerous to do their job and defend a defendant accused of blasphemy.” Nisar Shah further mentioned the case of a lawyer Rashid Rehman who was murdered because he took the defence case of a blasphemy accused.