Pak Govt asked to review blasphemy law

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Islamabad, Sep. 2 (ANI): The Pakistan Government has been asked by the National Assembly Standing Committee on Human Rights to re-examine the blasphemy law so that incidents like Gojra's anti-Christian riot can be prevented.

Human Rights Ministry Secretary Farid Khan told Committee chairman PML-Q member Riaz Fatiyana that the Gojra incident reflected "a complete failure of our system."

The Daily Times quoted Punjab Human Rights Minister Kamran Michael as saying that the government should review the blasphemy law.

He said the law should also be used against those who levelled baseless allegations against others.

PML-N leader Javed Hashmi seconded Michael's views, and said he regretted that people were languishing in jails for the last eight to ten years under the blasphemy law.

Fatiyana said the killings were a failure on the part of administration and intelligence agencies. He urged the government to take measures to prevent such incidents in the future.

He added that the committee will meet Chief Justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, and request him to fix a time period for trial of people arrested under blasphemy law.

Pakistan's blasphemy law forbids-damaging a place of worship or a sacred object, outraging religious feelings, defiling the Quran and defaming Prophet Mohammed.

The Criminal Code provides penalties for blasphemy up to death and a fine.

Critics have pointed out that the blasphemy law is being used to victimise minorities. (ANI)

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