Kashmir Indepth

Blasphemy law in Pakistan, the license to kill

While many countries, across the world, do have a specified blasphemy law to deal with blasphemers’ but the severity with which it is used in Pakistan is unseen and unheard of. More than safeguarding sanctity of religion, the infamous law is mostly misused to settle personal scores and target religious minorities. The country has punished many innocent people under the law which has drawn severe flak from the global community. The theological and military might in Pakistan has weaponized the law into a self-serving punitive measure.

The blasphemy law in Pakistan has put many innocents to the sleep due to the sheer impunity enjoyed by the Mullah-military nexus—the ubiquitous spectre which has remained undefeated in the country since 1947 due to the ideological sway and religious superiority.

There are examples galore where this harsh religious law has been misused by the theological and military ideologues to settle personal scores than safeguarding interests of Islam.

Historically speaking, the blasphemy laws of Pakistan were inherited from the British colonial authorities. However, once the country became independent in 1947, the clerics’ modified these laws, and changed them into an unbeatable weapon which, intentionally, was done to suit the military and political needs.

Lending condescending clout and undisputable teeth to the laws were the amendments made by Gen Zail-ul-Haq, who from 1980 to 1986.

Feeling empowered with the inherited unchallenging impunity, the future military men and religious scholars’ have, since then, been misusing the law according to their whims and fancies, choosing targets at the drop of their hats.

The Pakistan Penal Code—main criminal code of the country—punishes blasphemy ranging from fine to death. According to reliable statistics in Pakistan, more than 1300 blasphemers’ mostly Muslims’ have been punished under the law from 1967 to 2014. There are many additions since then, however, the threat employed by Pakistan Army as a means of coercion bars independent analysis which would easily counter the figures and condition of punishment served under the law.

As per data available upto 2018, more than 68 persons have been lynched to death in Pakistan on blasphemy charges while more than 35 are on death row or serving life sentences for blasphemy charges.

While there are some liberal voices in Pakistan advocating for amending the law but their concerns are mostly going unnoticed or resulting in threats due to undisputable and unchallenging wielded by Army and its puppet. The concerns expressed by international community on the severity of the law have been brushed aside as it yields political benefits to many mainstream politicians in Pakistan.

Bashir Ahmad

Author is a retired school teacher from Kashmir

Related posts

J K Adminstration Withdraws Security Of 5 Separatist Leaders

Kashmir Indepth

Only Srinagar to Jammu traffic allowed

Kashmir Indepth

Block Diwas observed across all districts of Kashmir division

Kashmir Indepth

Forces detect, defuse IED in Rafiabad village

Kashmir Indepth

COVID-19: Dist. Adm. Srinagar organizes SOP workshop for transporters

Kashmir Indepth

Winter vacation in Kashmir schools, colleges extended till March 11 due to bad weather: Govt

Kashmir Indepth

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More

Privacy & Cookies Policy