Udayavni Special

Pak decries EU parliament’s move on blasphemy laws


PTI, May 1, 2021, 10:46 AM IST

Islamabad: Pakistan on Friday decried a move by the European Parliament, which a day earlier adopted a resolution demanding Islamabad allow freedom for religious minorities and asked the EU to reconsider the South Asian country’s preferential trade status.

The European Parliament appealed to Islamabad to free a Christian couple — Shagufta Kausar and her husband Shafqat Emmanuel — who has been on death row since 2014.

It also urged Pakistani authorities to repeal the country’s controversial blasphemy laws, provide Kausar and Emmanuel with needed medical care and “immediately and unconditionally” overrule their death sentence.

It also expressed concern at increasing online and other attacks on journalists and human rights activists and asked Pakistan to take steps to ensure their safety.

Under Pakistan’s blasphemy laws, anyone accused of insulting Islam can be sentenced to death if convicted. Just the mere accusation of blasphemy can cause riots and incite mobs to violence and killings.

The foreign ministry in Islamabad released a statement expressing the government’s disappointment at the European resolution, saying it “reflects a lack of understanding in the context of blasphemy laws and associated religious sensitivities in Pakistan — and in the wider Muslim world.”

However, it is unlikely that Islamabad will act on the charged issue.

Radical Islamists parties have in recent years held violent rallies to stop the government from making any changes in the blasphemy laws.

Kausar and Emmanuel were arrested in 2013 on suspicion of sending a blasphemous text message to a local cleric in eastern Punjab province, an allegation they denied. The two were tried and sentenced to death in 2014. Since then, their appeals have been pending in the Lahore High Court.

According to domestic and international human rights groups, blasphemy allegations in Pakistan have often been used to intimidate religious minorities and to settle personal scores.

A Punjab governor was killed by his own guard in 2011 after he defended a Christian woman, Aasia Bibi, who was accused of blasphemy. She was acquitted after spending eight years on death row and left Pakistan for Canada to join her family after receiving threats.

Udayavani is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel and stay updated with the latest news.

Top News

Cyclone Tauktae: 121 villages affected in Karnataka, eight dead

Sonu Sood notifies followers about fake COVID-19 donation campaign in his name

Cyclone Tauktae: State government announces relief package

Swearing-in ceremony of LDF govt on May 20

Kundapur: 68-year-old bike rider dies after getting strangled by electric cable

CoWIN portal in Hindi, other languages from next week, more labs to monitor COVID variants: Govt

Kaup: Teen ends life after parents chide her for playing games on mobile



Related Articles More

Cricket club comes to rescue of Indian researchers in Israel’s Beersheba

Prince Charles launches ‘Plant a Tree’ drive to mark Queen’s Platinum Jubilee

Kannadiga community in UK pays tribute to Basaveshwara, Ambedkar

Israel says Gaza tunnels destroyed in heavy airstrikes

US Secretary of State, Pak Foreign Minister hold phone talk

MUST WATCH

Tauktae cyclone effect in Mumbai

In the last 24 hours, 19 new cases of 2.81 lakh Covid were detected

The survivors of the Coromandel Support 9 shipwreck have been rescued by the Air Lift and Coast Guard.

Punjab Cop Steals Eggs From Cart On Road, Suspended

Smooth coated Otter found in Phalguni river in Gurdadi

Latest Additions

Cyclone Tauktae: 121 villages affected in Karnataka, eight dead

Sonu Sood notifies followers about fake COVID-19 donation campaign in his name

Cyclone Tauktae: State government announces relief package

Swearing-in ceremony of LDF govt on May 20

Kundapur: 68-year-old bike rider dies after getting strangled by electric cable

Thanks for visiting Udayavani

You seem to have an Ad Blocker on.
To continue reading, please turn it off or whitelist Udayavani.