Blasphemy: Sunni Tehreek lambast Sherry Rehman's appointment

New US ambassador faces opposition, criticism from Sunni Tehreek; petition filed against appointment.

Owais Jafri/ppi November 23, 2011

MULTAN/ ISLAMABAD: The Sunni Tehreek (ST) on Wednesday expressed serious concerns over the appointment of Sherry Rehman as Pakistan’s Ambassador to the United States (US).

Speaking to PPI, Central leader of the Sunni Tehreek Shahid Ghauri said Rehman was already following “policies of the US and the Jewish lobby as she tried to abolish the country’s blasphemy laws.”

"We are not satisfied with Sherry Rehman appointment because she is not fair with Islam or the country,” he said.

In late 2010, Rehman’s life was threatened since she submitted a private member bill suggesting amendments to the blasphemy law.

Rehman was criticized by speakers of religio-political parties at large-scale rallies and kept a low profile in the ensuing months, particularly after the assassinations of Punjab Governor Salmaan Taseer and the Minister for Minorities Affairs Shahbaz Bhatti.

(Read: Stand up against the blasphemy laws)

The Sunni Tehreek leader urged the government to appoint an ambassador who is loyal to the country and Islam. “Those who are confident and spies of United States and perusing anti-Islam policies should not be considered for such key posts,” he said.

Rehman was appointed Ambassador to the US by Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani on November 23.

Petition filed in Lahore High Court

A petition has been filed in the Multan Bench of the Lahore High Court against the appointment of Rehman as Pakistan’s Ambassador to the US.

Fahim Akhtar Gill, a businessman in Multan, filed the application today. He has pleaded that Rehman is guilty of committing blasphemy on a television program of a news channel.

Speaking to The Express Tribune, Gill said that Rehman was did not deserve the appointment and that she had violated the constitution and was accused of blasphemy.

If the court issues a stay order tomorrow, Rehman will not be able to assume duties as ambassador and the government notification will become null and void.

Gill said that thousands of Pakistanis had reservations over the appointment of Rehman.

“It is against the honor and pride of the federation and the people of Pakistan as Pakistan is a Muslim country,” he said.

Gill claimed that he had taken fatwas from religious scholars of more than four sects of Islam before filing the petition.

A petition had earlier been filed in the court of Additional Sessions Judge Mehar Nasir Hussain on the remarks Rehman had given on a television show. The judge had ordered that an FIR be registered against Rehman.

The Police had informed the petitioner that an FIR could not be filed as the show had been aired from Islamabad and it was not their jurisdiction.

The petitioner had later filed an application citing another petition, where an FIR was registered in Bahwalpur against a citizen of Lahore.


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Ahmar Mustikhan | 9 years ago | Reply

Sherry Rehman must speak out against human rights violations in Balochistan.

Bilal Jahanzeb | 9 years ago | Reply

@Maulvi Imran Ahmed: Agreed, but lets talk about the majority who never got a chance to go to school just because their father thought its too liberal. We all know its either poverty or a mix of religious & cultural beliefs that led the "man of the house" to not put those girls in schools. Public policies are also to be blamed here. Every woman in Pakistan could be the next Benazir, now the question is do we really want that? and that is my whole argument.

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