Pope urges Pakistan to scrap blasphemy law

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Rome, Jan.10 (ANI): Pope Benedict XVI has called on Pakistan to scrap its draconian blasphemy law following the assassination of a provincial governor last week, saying the legislation is a pretext for "acts of injustice and violence."

"I once more encourage the leaders of that country to take the necessary steps to abrogate that law. The tragic murder of the Governor of Punjab shows the urgent need to make progress in this direction," news.com.au quoted the Pope, as saying.

The pontiff, who was speaking at a traditional New Year's meeting with foreign ambassadors to the Vatican, said the anti-blasphemy legislation was an example of "norms prejudicing the right to religious freedom."

The pope's comments came the day police commando Malik Mumtaz Qadri faced court in Pakistan for the January 4 murder of governor Salmaan Taseer, who was an outspoken critic of the blasphemy law. (ANI)

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