The incident involving an 11-year-old Christian girl being accused of blasphemy has deeply hurt the sentiments of Pakistan’s Christian community. The increasing number of incidents of terrorism, indiscriminate killings all over the country, misuse of the blasphemy law and the increasing violence against minority communities indicates the alarming times Pakistan and its people are going through. The blasphemy law has been misused over the years and caused insecurity and fear among the weakest sections of the Pakistani population. The growing persecution and violence against minorities shows that the government has failed to provide protection and security to them.
The laws of the land can only be considered good if they protect the life and property of its citizens. It is no more a hidden fact that the blasphemy law has been gravely misused and employed as a tool to unfairly target non-Muslim citizens. The government must take stern action against elements that are hell-bent on usurping the government’s writ and the democratic set-up. They are a threat to the nation and to Pakistan’s very existence. It is the responsibility of a democratic government to ensure basic human rights, freedom of opinion and religious liberty to all citizens.
The Government of Pakistan must form a committee to review all discriminatory laws and if it has no power to amend or repeal them, then it must, at least, stop the misuse of laws that negate basic human rights.
Salma Peter John
Published in The Express Tribune, August 29th, 2012.