Owner of Christian channel lodges blasphemy complaint in Pakistan

The channel's office was destroyed in a mysterious fire earlier this week.

Karachi: The owner of a Christian web-based television channel has got a blasphemy case registered against unidentified persons after his office here was gutted in a fire.

The two-room office of the "Gawahi" web television channel, which preached Christianity, was located in Akhtar Colony which has a large minority population mostly belonging to the lower income group.

The channel's office was destroyed in a mysterious fire earlier this week.

Sarfraz Williams who owns the 'Gawahi' channel told PTI that after much efforts the police registered a blasphemy case yesterday, four days after the office was burnt down.

"We have been getting threatening phone calls and messages and we suspect the office was set on fire by some people who didn't want the channel to continue working," Williams said.

He said chemicals were used to start the fire and destroy all equipment and religious books in the office.

The SHO of Mahmoodabad police station Sarwar Commando said the case has been registered under sections of mischief by fire or explosive substance with intent to destroy a house and injuring or defiling place of worship with intent to insult the religion of any class on William's complaint.

He said that Section 295 was invoked as religious books had been damaged and it involved blasphemy.

The registering of the blasphemy case by a Christian is significant as usually the blasphemy law has been used in several cases against Christians.

Civil and human rights groups argue that the blasphemy law in Pakistan is often misused by individuals to settle personal enmities or for land grabbing.  

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