Muslim scholars to look into abuse of blasphemy law in Pak

The purpose of committee is to address concerns about misuse of the law.

Updated: Jan 16, 2011, 11:19 AM IST

Karachi: A group of Muslim religious scholars in Pakistan have said they would form a committee to look into the misuse of the controversial blasphemy law, amid accusations that it was being used to settle rivalries.

The group comprising 10 members from different sects and ideologies met Interior Minister Rehman Malik in Karachi on Saturday.

Following the meeting, they announced that they would form a committee to look into the issue of misuse of the blasphemy law.

The group is spearheaded by Haji Hanif Tayyab, a Barelvi Muslim leader, who later said that the purpose was to address concerns about misuse of the law.

Civil and human rights activists have said that the blasphemy law is often used to settle rivalries or persecute religious minorities.

The law came under debate after a Christian woman was sentenced to death after being convicted under the law for insulting Prophet Mohammad.

Amendments were proposed to the law to prevent it from being misused.

Former Punjab governor Salmaan Taseer, who was a vocal proponent for changes in the controversial law, was killed recently by his security guard, who said he was upset by the former`s statements.

Around 40,000 people, on the call of religious groups, demonstrated in Karachi last week against amendments in the blasphemy law with some of them hailing Qadri as a hero of Islam.