IN what could be called yet another bloodcurdling incident, a raging mob of hundreds Saturday tortured a man to death in Nankana Sahib after snatching him from police custody, where he was locked-up for allegedly committing blasphemy. As the mob was lynching the man, it was shameful that Station House Officer and other police personnel who are entrusted with the responsibility to protect life and property of the people themselves fled the site to save their own lives. Mere suspension of such police personnel will not be enough rather they need to be laid off permanently for failing to fulfil their basic duty.
As regards the incident, it has reminded us of the cold-blooded murder of Sri Lankan national that took place in Sialkot back in December 2021. Sheer brutality was once again on display yet site of incident this time was Nankana Sahib and if needful was not done, such incidents will continue to recur at other places as well. Those committing such heinous acts are not either serving the country or Islam but badly hurting their image. The country has laws to deal with all sorts of offences including blasphemous acts and in their presence nobody can be allowed to resort to such barbarism. Such extra-judicial vigilantism cannot be condoned at any cost. Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has taken notice of the incident and ordered investigation. This process needs to be completed at the earliest and those involved in this despicable incident and their accomplices must be given exemplary punishment.
In fact they should be given same punishment as is envisaged for the blasphemous persons in the law. This is really important to avert such incidents in future that are sending a very negative message about the country abroad. According to Centre for Research and Security Studies (CRSS), as many as eighty nine citizens were killed in 1415 accusations and cases of blasphemy in the country since independence. There is no room for violence and extremism in our religion. Law should only take its course if there is any incident of desecration or blasphemy. Heavy responsibility also rests with religious scholars of all schools of thought to play a positive role in preventing extremism in the country. The very message of the Holy Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) which is that of peace, compassion, love and mercy for all needs to be followed and promoted in letter and in spirit.