Chinese worker cleared of blasphemy charges

By AFP
Published: May 30, 2013
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Chinese worker was accused of allegedly throwing a Quran on the ground. PHOTO: FILE

Chinese worker was accused of allegedly throwing a Quran on the ground. PHOTO: FILE

MUZAFFARABAD: Authorities in Azad Kashmir on Thursday cleared a Chinese man accused of committing blasphemy by desecrating a Quran, officials said.

Lee Ping, the administration manager of a Chinese consortium building a major hydropower project, was accused on May 17 of throwing the Quran on the ground, prompting hundreds of workers to attack his company offices.

Police took Lee into protective custody at a secret location after protests erupted at the company offices near Muzaffarabad, but on Thursday he was cleared.

“Police investigation has cleared the Chinese worker of desecration of Quran charges,” cabinet minister Matloob Inqalabi told reporters.

“No such incident of desecration of Quran happened there,” he said, adding that action would be taken against the people involved in the violence.

“Police has identified 35 people who were involved in violence at the project on that day. Legal action will be taken against them,” said Inqalabi.

But he refused to reveal the whereabouts of the Chinese worker or what would happen to him.

Lee was accused of throwing a copy of the Quran on the ground while moving the belongings of a Pakistani doctor after he had refused to vacate his room for relocation.

Pakistan and China have close relations and Chinese firms and engineers are working in development and energy projects across the country.

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Reader Comments (19)

  • someone
    May 30, 2013 - 10:52PM

    Ah so blasphemy laws do not apply to Chinese then. Its just for the local poor minority population.

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  • Green Tiger
    May 30, 2013 - 10:59PM

    This is unfair. What evidence has been considered in this case? Case should be made public.

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  • observer
    May 30, 2013 - 11:01PM

    A. Having ‘higher than mountains friends’ has its advantages.

    B. All blasphemy accused in Pakistan may consider getting a Chinese passport.

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  • aq
    May 30, 2013 - 11:08PM

    Might is right. Had it been ahmadis or other minorities state and judiciary would have kept silent. Double standards of official muslims.

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  • abc
    May 30, 2013 - 11:30PM

    Hydro power or Blasphemy? If you are willing to live under dark without electricity, choose to kick out Chinese who committed blasphemy.

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  • Hain?
    May 30, 2013 - 11:33PM

    And we are still allowing this baseless law to be practiced in our society. People are being killed and jailed after being wrongly labelled as blasphemous. This law must be abolished!

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  • someone
    May 30, 2013 - 11:37PM

    Unfortunately I witnessed this whole ordeal first hand, first time in my life I was embarrassed being a Pakistani. Now I am convinced that every ”blasphemy” case in Pakistan is fabricated. Chinese are great people If it were anyone else the project would have been long closed.The authorities handled the situation pretty well though.

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  • A. Khan
    May 31, 2013 - 12:33AM

    I am not so sure about having the blasphemy laws in first place. But I am 100% convinced that if we are to have them, then the burden of proof should be on the accuser not the accused. The way the law is currently framed is wrong and should be changed.

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  • Billoo Bhaya
    May 31, 2013 - 12:55AM

    @Hain?:
    @someone:
    Good that you have raised your voices against a pernicious law that is used by a rabid minority of fundamentalists to steal and extort illegal gains in the name of religion. The Doctor was occupying quarters just like our MNAs are occupying Parliamentary lodges. In countries where religion was used, like Ottoman Caliphate and Romanov Russia, both lost their Sultan and Tzar when their population rose against them after the First World War. The same will happen in Pakistan as people are becoming sick of being exploited in the name of Islam and killing innocents like Salman Taseer.

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  • Rashid
    May 31, 2013 - 1:12AM

    Anyway it was a foregone conclusion. Money prevail over religion every time, everywhere.

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  • vaqas
    May 31, 2013 - 1:19AM

    Ill believe that the authorities have done well only when the accusers are dealt with as harshly and publicly as the accused in these blashemy cases are.

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  • Zagrib
    May 31, 2013 - 2:14AM

    China is our ‘Aqa’. How can its citizen be convicted here?!

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  • Luciferous
    May 31, 2013 - 7:49AM

    @abc: “Hydro power or Blasphemy?”

    Hydro power.

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  • May 31, 2013 - 9:49AM

    The Chinese are well aware of the sensitivities we have in Pakistan. The facts of the matter are never divulged, so the truth remains unclear and cloudy.
    The doctor’s defiance must be taken to account and revealed to the press, because Pakistanis must get their bearings and behavior right. What is the case of the thirty-five persons being investigated? Were they prompted and incited by the doctor? Salams

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  • Observer
    May 31, 2013 - 9:52AM

    @Rashid:

    “Anyway it was a foregone conclusion. Money prevail over religion every time, everywhere.”

    Pakistan’s relationship with China is not about money. China never gives any country including Pakistan free dollars.

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  • Jude Allen
    May 31, 2013 - 12:24PM

    Height of Double Standards in our country. Thank you ET for reporting this.

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  • Prof. Shahid Mobeen
    May 31, 2013 - 1:44PM

    It is not to be forgotten that 52% of the victims of the abuse of the blasphamy laws in Pakistan belong to the muslim community then only come the other religious minorities. Innocent people like Governor of Punjab Salman Taseer and Federal Minister Shahbaz Bhatti are just two prominent figures who belived in the vision of the Founder of the Nation Muhammad Ali Jinnah who wanted Pakistan to be a home for all its citizens.
    Since the present episode took place in Azad Kashmir, which is a semi autonomous province-state in Pakistan, I must congratulate the efficiency of its personnel which took hold of the situation and did not allow the hatred-instigating mob to attack the Chinese Engineer. No loss of life and property took place. At this point I would question about the efficiency of the Police in the other four Provinces of the Country who might need to have a professional training course from the Azad Kashmir’s Colleagues without going abroad for this sake.

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  • Masood Khan
    May 31, 2013 - 3:17PM

    It proves — danda sub ka peer hay.
    BTW Council of Islamic Ideology refused to recommend any change in blasphemy law citing it is necessary for minorities protection — No more comments are warranted on this perception.

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  • Jason Hollier
    May 31, 2013 - 11:31PM

    @Masood Khan: The CII? Why does the country need such a medieval institution? The complainant was a medical doctor? What a waste of an education.

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