Pakistani lawmaker rules out change in ‘notorious’ blasphemy law

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Pakistan’s Finance Minister Ishaq Dar has asserted that no change will be brought about in the blasphemy laws in the country. The lawmaker was addressing the assembly during ‘Khatam-e-Nabuwat Conference,’ on Saturday January 29. “We can sacrifice our lives, wealth and everything we possess for the dignity and respect of the Holy Prophet (PBUH),” he stated.

Finance Minister Ishaq Dar

Ishaq Dar assured the assemblage that that there would be no change in the blasphemy law, emphasizing on the fact that Pakistan was created on the basis of Islam and in the name of Allah and Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). “Pakistan was the only country whose foundation was laid on Islam and Kalma Tayyaba,” he said while addressing the attendees at the conference organized by the custodians of Golra Sharif shrine.

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On the other hand, Pakistan’s Federal Minister for Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony, Sardar Muhammed Yousuf has also refuted any possibility of amendments to the blasphemy law. He said that the government is not planning to alter the existing blasphemy law. He stated that the government has no plans to ‘diversify or modify the blasphemy law.’

Previously, Interior Minister of Pakistan Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan asserted that the belief that religious minorities in Pakistan are suffering because of abuse of blasphemy laws is not true. Chaudhry Nisar while responding to a question by People’s Party’ lawmaker Begum Hasnain; he said that facts and figures reveal that in most of the cases the respondents of blasphemy were Muslims.

He revealed the data from the Sindh province and told the House that there were 129 cases of blasphemy registered in total. Out of these 99 cases were registered against Muslims; which makes it 76% of the total instances. He continued that these facts point towards the fact that religious minorities are not being embroiled in blasphemy cases more than Muslims themselves. “Religious minorities are not being affected by the blasphemy laws,” he stated.

A statement was issued by Senator Farhat Ullah Babar saying that Senate’s committee on Human Rights was all set to take up debate on the inevitable issues of how to prevent the misuse of blasphemy laws in the country. He stated that Senate’s Committee will start discussions on blasphemy laws soon.