Another blasphemy accused killed

Published: November 15, 2010
Man gunned down eight days after being granted bail in blasphemy case.

Man gunned down eight days after being granted bail in blasphemy case.

LAHORE: A man accused of blasphemy was shot and killed near his house on Thursday, shortly after being granted bail in the case.

Imran Latif, 22, was accused of burning pages of the Holy Quran in a case registered at Sherakot Police station and spent five months in jail. He was released on bail on November 3, after the complainant in the case told the court that he was not sure that Latif was guilty.

Inspector Rafique Ahmed, the investigating officer in the murder case, said that Latif’s murder was likely linked to the blasphemy case. “No Muslim tolerates a man who commits blasphemous acts,” he said.

He said police had only just discovered that Latif had been accused of blasphemy, as the family had not mentioned it when they reported the murder for the FIR.

Latif’s mother Sharifan, 60, said two men armed with pistols had knocked at the door of their house near Pir Makki shrine on Thursday and asked Latif to accompany them. “A few yards from the house they suddenly opened fire,” she said, adding that Latif had been hit five times.

She said the attackers then fled on a motorbike. “There were policemen present in the street but no one tried to stop them,” she said.

Haider Ali, Latif’s brother, said Latif was innocent in the blasphemy case. He suspected that a man named Ijaz Ahmed, who had a dispute with his brother over the ownership of a shop, had had Latif killed with the help of Muhammad Masoom and Ahmed Rizwan.

Human rights activists condemned the incident as another example of the havoc caused by the blasphemy laws. “The blasphemy laws are being so widely exploited here. It seems that the life of a person ends when they are accused of committing blasphemy,” said Dr Mehdi Hasan, chairman of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan.

He said both the judiciary and the government were afraid of the laws. The judges were afraid of getting attacked for acquitting blasphemy accused, while the government was apologetic about the laws. “If any accused is acquitted by the court, society becomes hostile to him and this hostility only ends with his death. Killing a blasphemy accused is considered jihad,” he said.

Dr Hasan said that the blasphemy laws were being used for personal gains. “People raise blasphemy allegations against their rivals to get rid of them,” he said. “Before the imposition of the blasphemy laws in 1979, only three blasphemy cases occurred during 100 years in the subcontinent.”

Justice (r) Nasira Iqbal said many people accused of blasphemy in Pakistan had been killed before their trial had finished. She said sometimes police officials aided in the murder of people accused of blasphemy.

Published in The Express Tribune, November 15th, 2010.

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Reader Comments (12)

  • muhammad adnan
    Nov 15, 2010 - 9:05AM

    when will our bigotry & intolerance end?? we can’t tolerate any opinion that is contrary to our views which have been brainwashed into us since birth.
    It could only happen in our land of the all pervasive conspiracy theories that even after thousands of our ppl have been killed by religous fanatics,we still continue to live in denial that these murders are being commited out of religous bigotry & intolerance.
    All these religous terrorists blowing themselves up don’t scream “god save the queen” or ” god bless America” when they murder innocent civilians,they scream “allah akbar”.It’s time we took our heads out of the sand & started to face upto reality & start rational thinking for once.Recommend

  • Muzaffar Ahmad
    Nov 15, 2010 - 10:11AM

    “No Muslim tolerates a man who commits blasphemous acts,” he said.

    Is he justifying the murder????? thats nonsense, such hate content should not be published Recommend

  • Tyrone
    Nov 15, 2010 - 10:30AM

    No doubt the murdered man was killed by the CIA/RAW/Mosad agents who roam freely in our society.

    The comparison of an ostrich just doesn’t cut it.Recommend

  • Haris Chaudhry
    Nov 15, 2010 - 10:32AM

    Land of pure gone to dogs – come to think of it, more like gone to wolves, bigots, thieves, murderers and hypocrites.

    Anyone listening..??

    Total failure of a nation that does not belong to the civilised world or twenty first century.


  • M M Malik
    Nov 15, 2010 - 11:17AM

    The people of Taif were saved from destruction by the Holy Prophet (saw) after they had abused and stoned him. Hinda, who had eaten the liver from the corpse of the Prophet’s (saw) uncle after a battle was forgiven. The women who daily threw garbage on the Holy Prophet (saw) was visited by him to comfort her when she was unwell.
    Whose Islam are these murderers following, certainly not one preached by the Holy Prophet (saw). Recommend

  • Nov 15, 2010 - 11:33AM

    Totally agree with MM Malik’s comment above! Whose Islam are these murderers following, certainly not one preached by the Holy Prophet (saw).Recommend

  • Nov 15, 2010 - 12:36PM

    I think there needs to be a silent public gathering to mourn the death of this 22 year old probably near the Sherakot police station.

    You guys need to make a start somewhere. I know this is easy for me to preach knowing how little I have done in my life to stand up for whats right.

    Each time such an act takes place – people will think lesser of the religion in the name of which all this is done. So for the sake of your religion you need to do this. “Not in my name” – so to speak. Recommend

  • Nov 15, 2010 - 12:40PM

    These individual acts on a larger scale translate to the attacks you are seeing against Sufi shrines, the Ahmedi mosques etc etc.

    Ignoring the case of this 22 year old or the Christian woman will only encourage the forces that get away with statements such as the one made by this police officer. Where is Maria B and her ‘wake up’ pakistan brigade – this is a cause worth fighting for. Recommend

  • Rizwan younas
    Nov 15, 2010 - 1:44PM


    with respect to mentioned case where imran was killed near Pir makki darabar in lahore. this case go nothing to do with blasphemy.I live in same area and even know the people who killed imran are Rizwan and Masoom. They both fled from locaiton after doing so..There is no way this case is linked to blasphemy as the dispute was a property. while writing these lines i dont want to take the intentions and objective of article away that certain people who commits blasphemy must be proven guily and punished but by the authorities not by individual.

    In the mentioned case both killers tried to settle personal rifts. Thanx, Rizwan.Recommend

  • Mubarik
    Nov 16, 2010 - 6:33AM

    Here we go again. This law should be repealed as it gives narrow-minded and people with ulterior motives unlimited powers to kill fellow human beings. Unfortunately politicians don’t have guts to do the right thing. May Allah Almighty guide people living in ‘the land of pure’ to the Sunnah of Holy Prophet (SAW) so that they become good humans. Recommend

  • Khalid Shahzad
    Nov 18, 2010 - 6:49PM

    I am asking question to all Muslims in Pakistan ‘Is that right way to spread Islam in to other religion in Pakistan?

    I have personnel experience to observe the blasphemy cases against minorities especially against Christians.Last year in Kasure,Koreain,Gojra,Asia bibi,Fanish Masih in Daska Sialkot,every case was false and self made,In Dask Sialkot Fanish Masih has love affairs with Muslim Girl who com meted that she hasn’t Holy Quran or (Spara)at that day.But Muslims put blame That he through holy books in drain and they killed him in Jail.In Korian Chak.they story was same.In Gojra no one Christian burn or try to speak any blasphemous remarks but Muslims burnt our houses and our people were burnt in this fire.In this year in July our two young Christian Pastor real brothers also faced the same 295 C.and they were killed in the custody of Punjab Police.Now Asia bibi who was servant and hard working but the Muslims never ever for give her.Now we Christians are thinking that ‘Is Islam religion of Peace?Just imagine that if some body snatch you from your mother,father,then??? Is that Natural Law?Is ALLAH WILLING TO KILL SOME ONE?OR IS THAT LAW IS THE WILL OF GOD?Recommend

  • Nov 19, 2010 - 2:27AM

    Inspector involved is also guilty of this killing, the quicker this so called law is abolished the better for allRecommend

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