ISLAMABAD: A man accused his uncle of blasphemy in I-9 sector of the federal capital Saturday evening. The police, however, refused to register a case unless the charge was established by experts.
Sheikh Usman, a resident of Rawalpindi, accused his uncle Dr Iftikhar A Khan, a resident of Sector I-8/4, of “writing comments in his paper that could be interpreted as blasphemous”, a police official told The Express Tribune. Dr Iftikhar is said to be a PhD scholar who has authored several books on different topics.
Usman, accompanied by local residents and clerics, surrounded I-9 police station asking the police to lodge an FIR against Dr Iftikhar.
But the police said they would not register a case without investigating it. “We have recorded the complaint and have sent it along with photocopies of the written material to our legal branch for their opinion,” said a senior police officer.
More than hundred local residents and seminary students blocked the road in front of I-9 police station, suspending traffic for some time. They shouted slogans against Dr Iftikhar and demanded the police book him for blasphemy.
“The [protesting] clerics pointed to certain references made in the notes that included discussion on Islam and the Prophet (PBUH),” said the police officer. He added that it was difficult to say if the material constituted blasphemy as defined by the law. “We cannot determine the blasphemy intent in the material,” he said.
Police said some of the protesting clerics belonged to Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat (ASWJ). The protesters threatened to take to streets again if the police did not register an FIR.
However, the police said a low-ranking police officer was not authorised to register a blasphemy case. Under section 295 of Pakistan Penal Code (PPC), an officer of superintendent of police (SP) rank investigates the matter before deciding to file a blasphemy case.
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