Pak blasphemy accused sentenced to death

Soofi Mohammad Ishaq of Talagang town had been facing a charge of blasphemy since 2009.

Last Updated: Jan 31, 2012, 21:24 PM IST

Lahore: A cleric accused of blasphemy has been
sentenced to death and given a 10-year prison term in
Pakistan`s Punjab province, the latest in a string of
convictions under a controversial law.

Soofi Mohammad Ishaq of Talagang town had been facing a
charge of blasphemy since 2009.

An additional sessions judge of Jhelum district sentenced
Ishaq to death and 10 years` imprisonment yesterday.
He was also fined Rs 2 lakh.

Soofi Mohammad Ishaq was settled in the US, where he
worked as a cleric.

When he visited Talagang in 2009, he was given a warm
welcome by hundreds of his disciples, some of whom kissed his
feet.

Some people objected to the act of "bowing down before
Ishaq" and accused his followers of branding him a prophet.

Ishaq`s rivals launched a campaign against him and a young
man, who was allegedly acting at the behest of some Deobandis,
lodged a complaint at Talagang police station in which he
accused Ishaq of committing blasphemy.

Police booked Ishaq under the controversial blasphemy law
and his case was heard by Additional Sessions Judge Sajid Awan
of Chakwal district.

PTI