No compromise on blasphemy laws

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A meeting chaired by Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday categorically stated that no compromise would be made on country’s blasphemy laws.

This comes after European Parliament adopted a resolution calling for a review of the GSP+ status granted to Pakistan in view of ‘alarming’ increase in blasphemy cases.

While people of Pakistan totally reject the EU resolution that reflects a lack of understanding in the context of blasphemy laws and associated religious sensitivities in Pakistan, unequivocal statement on part of the government is voice of the whole nation.

For Muslims of Pakistan as well other countries, nothing is above than the respect and sanctity of the Holy Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him).

Honour and respect of the Prophet (PBUH) is part of our faith and those crossing the redline must be penalised as per blasphemy laws which include death penalty for defamation of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) and life imprisonment for the desecration of Holy Quran.

There is a need to ensure strict implementation of the blasphemy laws while ensuring that it is not misused or abused. It is for the western countries to abstain from making unwarranted commentary about Pakistan’s judicial system and domestic laws.

This amounts to direct interference in country’s internal matters. Difference between freedom of expression, freedom of religion and blasphemy is very explicit and clear.

The laws of Pakistan guarantee protection of rights of all citizens, including those of minorities.

Instead of dictating terms to the Muslim world, it is for Western world to put its own house in order and act against rising incidents of Islamophobia and xenophobia in their own territories. Blasphemous acts should not be allowed under the garb of freedom of expression.

The Muslim countries need to come forward and adopt a united stand against Islamophobic incidents.

Showing respect to sentiments of Muslim population, the United Nations should also fulfil its responsibility and take requisite steps to criminalise blasphemous acts.

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