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Senate’s committee recommends punishment for leveling false blasphemy accusations

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Senate’s special Committee on Human Rights has supported the idea of punishment for the leveling false accusations. During its meeting, on Tuesday, March 6 endorsed punishment prescribed by the law for committing blasphemy to be inflicted on the person who poses false or fabricated accusations on blasphemy.

Pakistani legislators

Senate’s Committee in its recommendations stated: “Anyone falsely accusing someone of blasphemy should be subjected to the same punishment as a person convicted of blasphemy.” It was also discussed that the accuser looking to register a complaint at a police station must also bring at least two witnesses along, in order to back his claims.These recommendations will be forwarded to the Council of Islamic Ideology.

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Commenting about the recommendations, Senator Farhat Ullah Babar explained that the committee did not call for a change in the blasphemy law itself. “We are not trying to make any changes to the blasphemy law, we are trying to keep people from misusing it.” Senator Farhat Ullah Babar is a member of this committee.

Younhanabad lynching case was also brought under discussion during this meeting. Talking about the case, Senator Frahat Ulllah Babar stated: “Three years ago, two churches were targeted in Youhanabad as a result of which at least 150 Christian citizens died. People in the area conducted protests to condemn the deaths of their fellow citizens as is their right. These people were charged with terrorism and have been rotting in jail for three years.”

The committee recommended that: “Terrorism charges against the people arrested should be dropped and they should be tried in civil court.” The committee concluded that in this particular case, leveling terrorism charges against Christians was unfair.

Contrariwise, one of the members of the committee Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazal’s Senator Mufti Abdul Sattar, deemed the recommendations as a deliberate attempt to incapacitate the blasphemy law. “Are there no other laws in the country that are being misused?” he said.