Jamiat warns Pak govt against changing blasphemy law

Last Updated: Thursday, December 9, 2010 - 21:36

Peshawar: A hardline faction of the Jamiat
Ulema-e-Islam on Thursday warned the Pakistan government against
making changes to a controversial blasphemy law and convened a
meeting of political parties to frame a strategy to oppose any
amendment in the statute.

Maulana Samiul Haq, the chief of the JUI faction, said
the government should not make any changes in the blasphemy
law.

"The question does not arise about any change in the
blasphemy law. If the ruling Pakistan People’s Party makes any
move to this effect, it would be the last nail in its
political coffin," he told a news conference.

Pakistani civil rights and minority groups have been
demanding the amendment of the blasphemy law since a Christian
woman was sentenced to death after being convicted for
blasphemy last month.

Former federal minister and senior PPP leader Sherry
Rehman has submitted a bill seeking the amendment of the
blasphemy law in parliament.

Haq said his group would organise a meeting of
political parties in Islamabad on December 13 to chalk out a
"joint strategy against the bill floated by Sherry Rehman".

He demanded that the PPP should expel Rehman and
suspend her membership as "she had committed blasphemy".

"We will launch a full-scale movement against the
government if Sherry Rehman`s proposed bill is not withdrawn
by the PPP leadership. The bill is also against the PPP`s
manifesto as its late founding chairman Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto
had declared Ahmedis as a minority.

"PPP and Sherry Rehman are not pursuing the path of
their late leader," Haq said.

"Certain forces are out to bring about changes in the
ideological posture of the country. The governments at the
centre and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa should avoid following US
dictates," he said.

PTI

First Published: Thursday, December 9, 2010 - 21:36
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