Policy statement: No plan to amend or repeal blasphemy act, says govt

Administration distances itself from MNA Sherry Rehman’s bill.

Express December 30, 2010


In an apparent bid to ease pressure exerted by right-wing elements, the government has announced in clear terms it does not have any plans for repealing or amending the blasphemy laws.

In a policy statement to the National Assembly here on Wednesday, Religious Affairs Minister Khursheed Shah said the government did not own the private bill of a Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) legislator seeking to amend the Blasphemy Act.

Former information minister Sherry Rehman has tabled in the National Assembly secretariat a bill to alter misuse-prone clauses of the act.

Khursheed Shah said the bill did not reflect either the government or the PPP’s point of view on the issue.

“We [the government] have no intention of repealing the blasphemy law … ensuring the respect of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) is part of our faith,” Shah said in a brief but clear statement.

The minister assured minorities that the government would also take steps to ensure that this law was never misused against them.

Right-wing political parties have been protesting since President Asif Ali Zardari announced a pardon for the Christian woman, Aasia Bibi, who was at the heart of a controversy.

The government had earlier indicated that it would at least amend blasphemy laws and formed a committee led by Minority Affairs Minister Shahbaz Bhatti in this regard.

Responding to Shah’s clarification, Maulana Attaur Rehman of the JUI-F said that the government should also dissolve the committee to prove its sincerity.

“It is a sensitive issue and there are deep concerns on it across the country,” said Atta, the younger brother of JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman.

Drones counterproductive

Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani said that drone strikes inside Pakistan tribal regions were counterproductive and these attacks are helping terrorists accelerate their activity.

Responding to points of order raised by some members of the National Assembly from tribal areas, he said the political leadership and military had been successful in their planning to isolate the militants and separate them from the local people which had helped curb the incidents of terrorism.

On the issue of the arrest of Shahzain Bugti, Gilani said the government would take the house into confidence after the joint investigation team submits its findings.

Published in The Express Tribune, December 30th, 2010.


maitre | 12 years ago | Reply Its western people’s anti-Islam policies that infuriate the Muslim youth all over the world who do not endorse the least act of aggression but who do register their discontentment on what happens on some parts of the planet (like Indians atrocities on Kashmiris in the Indian Held Kashmir). Have they ever asked the Hindus to stop LOC violation in Indian Held Kashmir? Have they ever forced the Jews to a peaceful settlement with the Palestinians? Have the human rights champions ever condemned ‘Holocaust crimes of genocide in the International Criminal court’ and termed them inhuman? If those world bodies laws cannot be challenged, then Blasphemy law cannot be amended; be those the Christians, the Jews, the Qadyanis or the other minorities or the foreign funded NGOs. Instead, they should stop bad mouthing against the Islamic Injunctions and live peacefully in Pakistan. In third world countries, it is easy to buy cheaply bad mouths while promising them some material or social or territorial gains. The country Blasphemy laws should be such that no body dares bad mouthing. In Pakistan, many blasphemers were given death penalties and some of them died under police custody. If a just verdict is pronounced under articles 295 A, B, C and 298 A by the Supreme Court, its legal implications demand that it be carried out. We must show them that we respect every religion but at the same time we are severe towards the blasphemers. If Asia Bibi has blasphemized, then she will have to face the consequences sans merci.
Proud Indian in UK | 12 years ago | Reply Don't have any doubt as to how Gahzni and Kenghiz khan invaded Asia. They used the same tactics
Replying to X

Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.

For more information, please see our Comments FAQ

Most Read