KARACHI: A doctor has been arrested on charges of blasphemy in Hyderabad, police said on Sunday.
Naushad Valiyani was detained on Friday following a complaint by a medical representative who visited the doctor in the city of Hyderabad.
“The arrest was made after the complainant told the police that Valiyani threw his business card, which had his full name, Muhammad Faizan, in a dustbin during a visit to his clinic,” regional police chief Mushtaq Shah told AFP.
“Faizan accused Valiyani of committing blasphemy and asked police to register a case against the doctor.”
Shah said the issue had been resolved after Valiyani, a member of the Ismaili community apologised but local religious leaders intervened and pressed for action.
“Valiyani had assured Faizan that he did not mean to insult the Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) by throwing the visiting card in the dustbin,” Shah said, adding that the police had registered a case under the Blasphemy Act.
A court last month had sentenced to death Aasia Bibi, a Christian mother-of-five found guilty of blasphemy. The government attempted to pardon Bibi after an international outcry over the case, but the Lahore Hight Court prevented it from granting her a swift pardon.
Most of those convicted of blasphemy in Pakistan have their sentences overturned or commuted on appeal through the courts.
The country has yet to execute anyone for blasphemy, but the case has highlighted a controversial law which rights activists say encourages extremism.