Pakistani student Mashal Khan was killed by a mob on a university campus after being accused of blasphemy against Islam. His father says there is no freedom of expression in the country.
Pakistani man accuses ambassador to U.S. of blasphemy
By Asim Tanveer, MULTAN, Pakistan
(Reuters) – Pakistani police registered an accusation from a businessman on Thursday that the country’s ambassador to the United States had committed blasphemy, a crime that carries the death penalty, in connection with a 2010 TV talk show.
The accusation against Ambassador Sherry Rehman is the latest in a string of controversial blasphemy cases in Pakistan, a largely Muslim nation whose name translates as Land of the Pure.
According to Pakistan’s blasphemy laws, anyone found to have uttered words derogatory to the Prophet Muhammad can be put to death. Those who are accused are sometimes lynched by mobs even before they reach court.
Rehman has already faced death threats from militants after calling for reforms to the country’s anti-blasphemy law, according to court documents. Two politicians who suggested reforming the law were assassinated.
By Naseer Memon
The day that Sindh celebrated Sindhi Culture Day — an icon of peace and humanity — a manic mob brutally trampling mores of Sindhi society lynched an accused blasphemer after dragging him out from police custody in Seeta village of Dadu district in Sindh. The audacious crime went unhindered either by any state institution or by any sane citizen. The first of its kind in Sindh’s recent history, this incident has traumatised the predominantly liberal and progressive ranks in rural Sindh. Only recently, the province witnessed the exodus of a large number of Hindu families after they were incessantly intimidated and targeted by extortionists and obscurantist elements. Customary attitudes of denial by government institutions prevailed. Even so-called progressive stalwarts of the ruling PPP from Sindh were obstinate that no migration took place due to any systematic persecution of Hindus.
Pakistan Ahmadi man forcibly exhumed in Lahore
By M Ilyas Khan
Police in Pakistan have forced a family of the Ahmadi sect to exhume the body of a relative because it was buried in a Muslim graveyard.
Officials in the Sargodha district of Punjab province say they took the unusual move after anti-Ahmadi Muslim groups threatened peace in the area.
Ahmadis consider themselves Muslims but a 1984 law barred them from identifying themselves as followers of the faith.
The law also put restrictions on their religious practices.
‘Law and order situation’
Shehzad Waraich, a farmer in the Bhalwal area of Sargodha district, died on 30 October and was buried in a shared graveyard designated by the government.
“The police approached the relatives of Mr Waraich on 31 October and asked them to remove the body from the Muslim graveyard as this could lead to a law and order situation,” Salimuddin, an Ahmadi community spokesman, told the BBC.
“The family complied with the request and exhumed the body. They have now buried it in a different graveyard reserved for the Ahmadis several miles away from the village.”
The police said the family was asked to exhume the body because the burial was “illegal”.
“They buried Mr Waraich in a Muslim graveyard, which is against the law,” Javed Islam, the Sargodha district police chief, told the BBC.
“Members of the Khatm-e-Nabuwat organisation and some local people approached the police and conveyed their objection to the burial. The objection was within the ambit of the law, so we acted accordingly,” he said.
Khatm-e-Nabuwat is an anti-Ahmadi religious organisation that acts as a watchdog on their activities.
Mr Islam said that he was not concerned about the moral aspect of the exhumation of Mr Waraich’s body – his job was to enforce the law.
Ahmadis in Pakistan are often mobbed and lynched by extremist elements who critics say are encouraged by favourable laws.
The Ahmadi spokesman, Salimuddin, said it was the 30th incident since 1984 in which an Ahmadi body has been forcefully exhumed by the administration to satisfy the opponents ….
Read more : BBC