April 19 , 2017

NA seeks end to misuse of blasphemy law

Resolution condemns Mashal Khan’s murder

ISLAMABAD: The National Assembly on Tuesday passed a resolution condemning the killing of Mashal Khan, a student of Abdul Wali Khan University, in the premises of the university by a mob on allegations of blasphemy.

The resolution, moved by the federal minister for defence production, called for insertion of safeguards in the blasphemy law to prevent misuse of the law to avoid such violent incidents in future.

“This House resolves to ensure that strong safeguards may be inserted into the blasphemy law to prevent its abuse through violent incidents,” the resolution said.

The resolution demanded of the federal and provincial governments to take strict action against the ‘perpetrators’ and ‘facilitators’ of the heinous crime, including those making hate speeches. The House also condemns all those who take the law into their own hands and engage in vigilantism, resulting in loss of innocent human lives.

However, MNA Naeema Kishwar of the JUI-F said that all such kinds of atrocities occur with a planned conspiracy, adding that mere passing resolutions might not change the situation as practical measures were needed to stop the trend. Kishwar observed as to why the Cyber Crimes Bill was not being implemented properly. She said there was also a need to havestrict check on social media.

PTI parliamentarian Arif Alvi said there was a need to understand this barbaric incident which happened in a university. MQM’s Sajid Ahmed said these kind of barbaric incidents are tarnishing the image of the country.

Opposition Leader Syed Khursheed Shah was of the view that steps must be taken to stop the misuse of blasphemy law. Meanwhile, the government again failed to complete the quorum in the House following the walkout of the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) against the disappearance of friends of Asif Ali Zardari.

The chair suspended the proceedings to give time to the government to complete the quorum but on resumption, the strength of members further reduced to around 50. As a result, all the items on order of the day remained unattended and the proceedings were adjourned till today (Wednesday). This is for the fourth time that the Lower House of Parliament faced lack of quorum and could not complete the agenda and faced premature end of proceedings.

Speaking on the occasion, the opposition leader lashed out at the PML-N leadership, saying the prime minister had ended the difference between democracy and dictatorship. He said how the ministers would attend the House when their leader does not turn up. “We can support a dead democracy but not a dictatorship,” Khursheed Shah said.



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