Wednesday, 6 July, 2022
HomeWorldMinorities in Pakistan fear mob lynching over blasphemy accusations

Minorities in Pakistan fear mob lynching over blasphemy accusations

Text Size:

Islamabad [Pakistan], March 10 (ANI): Regular episodes of attacks on the minorities’ properties and their religious places on fake or inadvertent blasphemy charges in Pakistan have been occurring on daily basis.

A violent mob in Pakistan’s Punjab province stoned to death a “mentally challenged” man accused of committing blasphemy over allegedly desecrating the Holy Quran on February 12, reported European Times.

This is not the first incident of mob justice in Pakistan. In November 2021, a mob had vandalised a police station in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s Charsadda district and set it on fire after the local authorities refused to hand over a man arrested for allegedly desecrating the Holy Quran.

Moreover, the memories of the lynching of a Sri Lankan factory manager, Priyantha Kumara, in Punjab’s Sialkot city in December are still fresh.

Such killings in Pakistan over blasphemy accusations are not just about extrajudicial vigilantism. They have an all-encompassing reason ranging from religious and political to petty and personal disputes, and international connections, reported European Times.

According to the US Commission on International Religious Freedom Report (2016), Pakistan has the world’s second-strictest blasphemy laws after Iran.

But what is more concerning is that, in most blasphemy cases, culprits are either eulogised as the ‘saviour’ of Islam, in case they get a judicial sentence, or are released under the pressure from religious extremists.

These religious extremists support the severest implementation of draconian blasphemy laws to subjugate the lower-strata of society, Ahmadiyyas and Shias, and other religious minorities such as Christians, Hindus, and Sikhs.

This is the legacy of the Islamic military dictator General Ziaul Haq, who used the laws to appease the hard-line Islamist forces in Pakistan.

However, the menace of blasphemy killings in Pakistan has currently reached an unprecedented level under the Imran Khan government, which has provided space to extremist Islamist outfits such as Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP), a Sunni Barelvi group, reported European Times.

In a recent study on the blasphemy issue in Pakistan, a local Think Tank, Centre for Research and Security Studies had revealed that from 1947 to 2021, as many as 89 people were extra-judicially killed over blasphemy accusations in the country.

It further stated that a total of 1,287 citizens were accused of committing blasphemy from 2011-21, the period in which TLP remained most active and expanded its support base across the country, reported European Times.

The Khan government’s failure to control incidents of blasphemy and an apparent soft- corner for the extremist Islamist groups, for political purposes, will have far-wider consequences for Pakistan in the coming months.

In addition, the Taliban’s victory in Afghanistan has emboldened the hard-line Islamist forces in Pakistan. All these factors are indicating that there will be more incidents of blasphemy killings. (ANI)

This report is auto-generated from ANI news service. ThePrint holds no responsibility for its content.

Subscribe to our channels on YouTube & Telegram

Support Our Journalism

India needs fair, non-hyphenated and questioning journalism, packed with on-ground reporting. ThePrint – with exceptional reporters, columnists and editors – is doing just that.

Sustaining this needs support from wonderful readers like you.

Whether you live in India or overseas, you can take a paid subscription by clicking here.

Support Our Journalism

Most Popular