LAHORE: Local cleric Sarfaraz Rizvi, while addressing a protest, said it was the government’s responsibility to stop the misuse of the blasphemy laws. He said that once this happened the moves to amend these laws would stop.
Sunni Tehrik activists protested on Sunday at Ferozepur Road near the Punjab chief minister’s residence against the Punjab governor. They carried placards accusing the governor of aiding in the release of blasphemy convict Aasia Bibi.
The close to 200 protesters, the UC 99 Gopal Nagar wing of the Sunni Tehrik, were led by their president Qari Faiz Qadri. The protesters reached the chief minister’s residence chanting slogans and holding placards demanding the removal of the governor.
MNA Sherry Rehman was also derided for submitting a bill asking for an amendment in blasphemy laws. The protesters marched towards Model Town Mor, blocking the traffic on their way.
Allama Dilshad Ahmed Faizi, the Madina Mosque preacher, said Muslims would lay down their lives to protect the honour of the Holy Prophet (pbuh). He said they would defeat the efforts of the government to favour blasphemers to appease their ‘western masters’.
Qadri said they would continue to protest till Aasia’s sentence is executed. He said it seemed that some ‘so-called Muslims’ were more pained by the death sentence given to a Christian woman than most Christians.
In a statement, Dr Muhammad Ashraf Asif Jalali, secretary of Sunni Ittehad Council, said that the mere statement of the religious affairs minister saying that the government had nothing to do with Sherry’s bill was not enough. He said the president and prime minister should make unequivocal statements in this regard.
He said already they had created awareness among the masses against the blasphemers and would continue their struggle.
He said they would keep a close eye on the government’s moves to make amendments in blasphemy laws. He said they would hold a seminar on January 9 regarding the movement against blasphemers and the government.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 3rd, 2011.