Committee to probe abuse of blasphemy law in Pakistan

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Karachi, Jan 16(ANI): A ten-member committee will be formed to look into the cases pertaining to the misuse of Pakistan's blasphemy law, former federal minister Haji Hanif Tayyab has said.

Tayyab told reporters that the decision to form a committee in this reagrd was taken during a meeting with Interior Minister Rehman Malik and Sindh Governor Dr Ishratul Ibad Khan at the National Crisis Management Cell.

The committee members would consist of two religious scholars from five major schools of thought in the city, and the committee would consult with all religious leaders on the law to remove misconceptions in this regard, he added.

Tayyab also dispelled the impression that the committee had been formed to change the blasphemy laws, asserting that all rumours regarding any amendment in the law were false and incorrect.

"The rumours that the committee has been formed to amend the blasphemy law are baseless," the Daily Times quoted him, as saying.

The committee was being constituted to determine whether the accused had insulted Islam or not, said Tayyab, adding: "No innocent person will be punished."

Civil society activists say the country's blasphemy laws are often misused to settle personal rivalries or persecute religious minorities.

Earlier this month, Punjab governor Salmaan Taseer was assassinated by his own bodyguard because of his vocal opposition to the controversial law that was recently used to sentence a Pakistani-Christian woman, Asia Bibi, to death. (ANI)

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