Punjab Assembly: Blasphemers told to stop or ‘face consequences’

Published: January 6, 2012
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Women chant slogans in favour of late Punjab Governor Salmaan Taseer's assassin, Mumtaz Qadri during a Sunni Tehrik rally in Islamabad on January 4. PHOTO: ZAFAR ASLAM/EXPRESS

Women chant slogans in favour of late Punjab Governor Salmaan Taseer's assassin, Mumtaz Qadri during a Sunni Tehrik rally in Islamabad on January 4. PHOTO: ZAFAR ASLAM/EXPRESS

LAHORE: Planning and Development Minister Chaudhry Abdul Ghafoor on Friday said that peace and order in the province could not be guaranteed if blasphemy against the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) continued. He said the faithful would not always wait for court orders in such cases.

The Punjab Assembly resumed its session, some 20 minutes after the scheduled time, 9am.

Ghafoor suggested that the minority members should wait until the court decided Aasia Bibi’s fate. He said, “If blasphemers continue, the society will produce another Ghazi Ilmuddin Shaheed.”

Earlier, Muhammad Ilyas Chinioti, a PML-N MPA from Jhang, during the debate over law and order situation, also said that minorities should refrain from discussing Aasia Bibi’s case, till the court hearing her appeal gave its final verdict.

He was referring to a speech by Malik Perveiz Rafique, an MPA on a reserve seat, on Thursday, in which he had expressed his reservations over the insecurity minority citizens in Punjab faced. He had also spoken in support of Aasia Bibi.

Rafique had demanded that the government do more to provide security to the minorities and their worship places. He had also appealed to the chief justice of Pakistan to act against the clerics who were publically supporting Mumtaz Qadri, the self-confessed killer of former Punjab governor Salmaan Taseer. Rafique regretted that Qadri was given ‘protocol’ in jail, while Aasia Bibi’s life was in the ‘barrack.’

Several minority members protested against Chinoiti, a son of Maulana Manzoor Chinioti, a Tehreek-i-Khatme Nabuwat leader, and also sought to speak on a point of order. It was then that the speaker gave the floor to Ghafoor.

MPA Najmi Saleem condemned the minister’s statement and accused the Punjab government of discrimination against minorities. She said that while minority members respected for the court, the PML-N did not.

“It’s strange that the honourable Muslim minister is talking about killing people, though his religion prohibits killings of innocent people,” she said.

Law and order situation discussed

Next the speaker asked PML-Q MPA Samina Khawar Hayat to speak on the law and order situation.

She started off by saying that more than Rs40 billion was spent on Police Department every year. She said the money was not being utilised properly.

She regretted that when confronted with the alarming crime statistics in the Punjab, treasure members tried to justify those by citing figures from other provinces.

PPP’s Shaukat Basra said that the chief minister should immediately withdraw the raise in the salaries of police officials. He said Law Minister Rana Sanaullah Khan was patronising terrorism in the province.

PML-N MPA Chaudhry Ali Asghar Monda blamed the energy crisis for the poor law and order situation in the province.

PPP’s Hassan Murtaza said that while the inspector general of police was always surrounded by a heavy guard. “If the police continue to protect their bosses alone, who will guard the public against criminals,” he asked.

When asked to conclude the debate on law and order, Sanaullah said that the opposition’s suggestions would be considered. He also presented the National Crisis Management Cell statistics for crime on the New Year’s Eve and the following day.

Earlier Sanaullah also answered questions about Revenue and Colonies Department.

The speaker adjourned the session till Monday, 3pm.

 

Published in The Express Tribune, January 7th, 2012. 

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Reader Comments (45)

  • Sindhvoice
    Jan 6, 2012 - 8:15PM

    The love with Prophet PBUH and his teachings are important part of any Muslim. But some people use this blasphemy law to settle their score with some one is the biggest crime. Islam does not allow any one to do injustice and furthermore those who use this law as a tool to counter his/her opponents are real blasphemers and they should be brought to books. Our religion is religion of peace, tolerance and diversity. No extremist or fundamentalist should be allowed to hijack peaceful message of Islam.

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  • muhammad azhar
    Jan 6, 2012 - 8:30PM

    there should be freedom of speech.if one feels something is wrong,one should be allowed to say it without having the religious fanatics cutting off your head.our society’s obsession with religion has gone too far.if the religious fascists don’t like the way you dress,or the way you don’t perform religious rituals,or if you don’t add arabic words or sentences in every sentence you speak,they can label you an infidel and our society will rejoice as you are killed in the name of religion.

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  • mazhar khan
    Jan 6, 2012 - 8:32PM

    Freedom of religion includes freedom from religion.The persecution of freethinkers by the religious extremists must end.forcing people to believe your beliefs or follow your repititive rituals by threat of violence just exposes your real face.no one can make another become a better muslim at gunpoint.

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  • arif imran
    Jan 6, 2012 - 8:36PM

    What about the rights of the millions of atheists,agnostics,humanists and freethinkers in pakistan? why must they be forced to submit to the whims of violent religious people.Why must they be forced to live in fear just because the religious fascists don’t like the way they think.The morality police should keep their beliefs to themselves,no need to force it onto others.

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  • former muslim
    Jan 6, 2012 - 8:46PM

    *
    Diehard followers of Muhammad (pbuh) might not wait for court orders and decide the fate of blasphemers themselves. So my advice to blasphemers is to refrain from committing blasphemy.
    *

    I can’t believe this is the statement of democratically elected leader. I won’t be surprised by behaviour of uneducated pakistani mass when their leaders are religiously blnded . What a currupt state of mind of eniter population of Pakistan. Why Bush wanted to bomb Pakistan to stone age? It’s population is already living under stone age.
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  • Muddassir
    Jan 6, 2012 - 8:58PM

    we are ready to die for ‘hurmat-e-rasool’ (saw), but no one cares about ‘hadait-e-rasool’ (saw) and have no desire to implement that in our lives. This is called pure ‘munafiqat’!

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  • sick of this nonsense
    Jan 6, 2012 - 9:03PM

    hats off to PPP MPAs for standing up to fanatics. Where are the PPP bashers now?

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  • Jan 6, 2012 - 9:05PM

    What does he mean by ‘die hard followers of Prophet (PBUH)? We all Muslims are die hard followers, do not single out a section only, they did not descend from heaven!

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  • Chacha
    Jan 6, 2012 - 9:06PM

    “Diehard followers of Muhammad (pbuh) might not wait for court orders and decide the fate of blasphemers themselves. So my advice to blasphemers is to refrain from committing blasphemy.”

    So this means he has already condemned Taseer for committing blashphemy. In Pakistan a minorities are guilty until proven innocent is any one accuses them of committing blasphemy. Even if the charge is proved somehow to be false, by that time they are either dead or have been traumatized by a rigourous imprisonment and god knows what.

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  • Jan 6, 2012 - 9:12PM

    The Brits liberate your ancestors; failing to defend the values they imposed has led to their benefits slipping away. Recommend

  • hamzad
    Jan 6, 2012 - 9:29PM

    Pakistan is Islamic and Muslim..Freedom of speech is meant to expose secularoon, Liberaloon and murtadoons..agents of westoxication in Pakistan..

    The West never came out of dark ages…pharoahs and Caesar were also very Technical type and “maadren” of the times..but it was still dark ages for humanity…so has the WEST always been…

    THE West is increasingly heading into those dark ages..so the seularoons, liberaloons and murtadoons better re-affix the direction in which they prostrate.Recommend

  • mk
    Jan 6, 2012 - 9:29PM

    He shud get life imprisonment so that he gets enough time to reflect on his actions and is able to understand Islam and its teachings in in its true form. Someone like Mumtaz Qadri does not deserve to be let free – he shouldn’t be given a death sentence either but a irreversible life imprisonment sentence. By giving a death sentence, he will die thinking he is a martyr (which he is not under any circumstances), instead his punishment should be to reflect on his sin – i am sure more knowledge and understanding of Islam and other religions will make him realize his criminal act. He should not die thinking he is a martyr! and so shouldn’t his misguided followers think that either. I wish the day comes when Mumtaz Qadri admits what he has done is against the teachings of Islam and anti-humanity, and realizes his mistake. He will be liberated then and it will be victory for humanity and the family of Salman Taseer. Flawed ideology needs to be extinguished and not its follower..

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  • Jan 6, 2012 - 9:42PM

    8 millions christians? As far as i know, there were 28 lacs christians in entire Pakistan making 1.6% of total population till 2008. Correct your facts please.

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  • liberal
    Jan 6, 2012 - 9:53PM

    Sane advice for the non-thinkers, this from a “free thinker” like me.Recommend

  • rafiq
    Jan 6, 2012 - 9:57PM

    We love prophet,we should but we should also follow his preaching and sunnat. It is very important.

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  • Meengla
    Jan 6, 2012 - 10:22PM

    “Diehard followers of Muhammad (pbuh) might not wait for court orders and decide the fate of blasphemers themselves. So my advice to blasphemers is to refrain from committing blasphemy”

    And we should hang our heads in shame as Pakistanis when someone high up in the Punjab govt. utters such words!Recommend

  • Mard-e-Haq
    Jan 6, 2012 - 10:25PM

    Diehard followers of Muhammad (pbuh) might not wait for court orders and decide the fate of blasphemers themselves. So my advice to blasphemers is to refrain from committing blasphemy.”

    Diehard outsiders may not wait for normal diplomatic routes either before seeking retribution against Pakistan for harbouring militants who cause chaos abroad. Those drones might be back….

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  • muhammad jibran
    Jan 6, 2012 - 10:26PM

    @hamzad:

    having a functioning brain doesn’t make one ‘western’if one decides to use one’s brain instead of blindly following what the maulvis say it is a sign of being human.it is you who needs to give up his obsession with the ”west”.give up your fixation with the ”secularoon, Liberaloon”Recommend

  • M M Malik
    Jan 6, 2012 - 10:47PM

    “Diehard followers of Muhammad (pbuh) might not wait for court orders and decide the fate of blasphemers themselves. So my advice to blasphemers is to refrain from committing blasphemy.”

    Die-hard followers of the Rahmat ul lil Alameen (saw) do take the law in their hands. His (saw) die-hard followers are tolerant; just as he was at Taif and on numerous other occasions.

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  • Roflcopter
    Jan 6, 2012 - 11:11PM

    “Diehard followers of Muhammad (pbuh) might not wait for court orders and decide the fate of blasphemers themselves. So my advice to blasphemers is to refrain from committing blasphemy.”

    Shouldn’t every muslim be a diehard follower of Muhammad (pbuh)? I agree with his advice to blasphemers though. Also free thinkers/atheists/murtads need to stop moaning…Pakistan will always be Islamic.

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  • kafir
    Jan 7, 2012 - 12:05AM

    @hamzad – Can you please work on your English. Its hard to understand.

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  • Babloo
    Jan 7, 2012 - 12:09AM

    Whats blasphemy ? Who decides who committed blasphemy ? Who decides the quantum of punishment ? What does punishing those that allegedly commit blasphemy say about the people who punish others based on their concept of blasphemy ? Why does almighty need to be defended from mere mortals ?

    All this questions are part of a civilized discussion and not part of a ideology born out of medieval intolerance.

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  • Michael
    Jan 7, 2012 - 12:48AM

    @Sindhvoice:
    ” No extremist or fundamentalist should be allowed to hijack peaceful message of Islam.” I would only rephrase that statement to reflect your peaceful message. There are peaceful Christians, peaceful Muslims… peaceful everything… All of them claim to be for tolerence, peace and understanding. The time will come when people like us are all on the same side against the ignorant to will grasp at any religious text to justify their hatred of those who are different.

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  • Acorn Guts
    Jan 7, 2012 - 1:12AM

    The problem with Pakistani minorities (I belong to one myself) is that even if we were to change our beliefs and views to something more palatable to these flag bearers of Islam we wouldn’t know who to listen to! Every one of these ‘soldiers of Islam’ seems to be rowing a different boat and all the ones that aren’t on-board are free targets under blasphemy law to them.

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  • saleem
    Jan 7, 2012 - 1:44AM

    if in dark ages meant where the west is headed now and where the die hard supporters of Qadri are. Just let any western country open borders and visas and see where people would like to go to

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  • Salman
    Jan 7, 2012 - 1:50AM

    this is where PMLN sucks badly

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  • Roflcopter
    Jan 7, 2012 - 2:00AM

    @kafir, his english is easy understandable even if it’s not good so don’t act smart.

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  • Jan 7, 2012 - 2:40AM

    The only blasphemy seems to the coming from the mullahs and their sheeplike followers

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  • Pakistan Khan
    Jan 7, 2012 - 4:45AM

    @Roflcopter:
    Cool down dude. Why this Kolaveri Di? :D

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  • Spud
    Jan 7, 2012 - 5:40AM

    The danger of laws as the Blasphemy law is that they can be used by the corrupt, immoral and unethical persons to get rid of opponents. Such people can always find some equally corrupt religious person to accuse another of committing blasphemy. There has to be some control on the activities of such people. Do not enact such a law. It will lead to destruction via instability. Any religion can withstand attacks on it as has been proven over hundreds of years.

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  • zwandun
    Jan 7, 2012 - 5:42AM

    for women in the picture: I can see your eyes and it is invitation to immorality. why don’t you stay in home as your “islamic” ideology would dictate. why is it that you extremists are always an exception to your own “islamic” laws.

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  • numbersnumbers
    Jan 7, 2012 - 6:46AM

    @hamzad:
    If you say that “the “WEST never came out of the Dark Ages”, then that means that the Pakaloons never even advanced upward to be near the dark ages!

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  • MarkH
    Jan 7, 2012 - 6:50AM

    “He said the faithful would not always wait for court orders in such cases.”
    Then you go to jail for doing it and people continue to go to jail for it until you learn patience. At least in a country where the law is enforced.

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  • numbersnumbers
    Jan 7, 2012 - 6:55AM

    @Roflcopter:
    You say that “Also free thinkers/atheists/murtads need to stop moaning…Pakistan will always be Islamic” Please show us where the Prophet (PBUH) wrote about treating minorities like they are treated in Pakistan!

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  • Beatle
    Jan 7, 2012 - 11:43AM

    May be Shareef brothers can spare some time from their political mickering and pay attention to matter like this??

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  • KOJAK
    Jan 7, 2012 - 12:02PM

    the things which are sometimes important are the things mostly unsaid. what is the price of a human life? there are times such as now when people will horde towards insanity because they cannot seem to see any light in the end of the long and dark tunnel dug by extremists who have “Hijacked” Islam and are now pawns in a game where nothing is to be expected by epic ignorance!Recommend

  • Karim
    Jan 7, 2012 - 12:55PM

    Ghazi Ilmuddin and Mumtaz Qadri are btoh criminals and will remain criminals for taking the law into their hands. PML-N and specifically Abdul Ghafoor should leave Pakistan and go to Saudi Arabia to enjoy the fanatic mindset. In Pakistan, freedom of speech will not be deterred even if you martyr a million like Salman Taseer (may god be pleased with him).

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  • Realist
    Jan 7, 2012 - 5:12PM

    @arif imran:

    Go live in a secular country then. Recommend

  • Musthaq Ahmed
    Jan 7, 2012 - 6:54PM

    @numbersnumbers:
    It is there. You are not well versed. They are very much living up to the example.

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  • Bilal
    Jan 7, 2012 - 10:53PM

    @hamzad:
    and you’re going to do that by killing more people!!! wow where are we going? oh Allah help us!!

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  • Bilal
    Jan 7, 2012 - 11:00PM

    @hamzad:
    I’m not implying i know everything about Islam. Here is the deal; Prophet PBUH himself was a secular person; he brought the concept of equality, justice to the society. He gave woman, children, orphans, widows, business partners …..EVERYONE their rights. He spoke for that.
    What I don’t understand is why are we not focusing on the issue – Miss use of the blasphemy law. Gov. Taseer was right on the issue .. the miss use should be stopped and it has to their is no way around it.

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  • Bilal
    Jan 7, 2012 - 11:07PM

    I think we should make a law saying no one is allowed to make religious statements in public – i-e if they influence any one religiously through public statements/mandate that can cause harm to the society- JAIL THEM.

    Except then we’re going to have to make a law for police to actually implement it.

    Then a law that no politicians would help anyone get out of jail.

    Then another law saying screw this all BECAUSE WE’RE PAKISTANIS.

    Whats happening to our country????

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  • Paki-Australian
    Jan 8, 2012 - 11:12AM

    Pakistan needs to move on from extreme religious perspective that must guide our everyday living. Blasphemy is an easy blame onto people you may wish to settle a personal score. Shame on all of us if we don’t oppose the religious extremists…

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  • KM
    Jan 9, 2012 - 10:13PM

    Let the police spend all their time trying to catch the blasphemers, so that the real criminals…the murderers, the rapists, the terrorists get away. Yes this should be our main priority. Recommend

  • Jan 13, 2012 - 3:43AM

    let’s face it human has something inside of them which makes us long for freedom, love and comfort. Being abused by religious politics is just power hungry individuals seeking to control. Pity they have to go through such lengths as implementing fear and poverty into human lives to achieve their goals. The creator of the world is above such poor thinking and don’t need human to punish individuals for blasphemy. The creator of the earth could do that himself. Surely if those lunatics would stop and think, they would notice that a beautiful earth like what we have had to be created with love. Hatred destroys love builds. Where is the Love in these religions?

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