Pakistan and existing laws fail to curb mob justice

Pakistan and existing laws fail to curb mob justice

Special Contribution: Kashif Nawab

Modern Tokyo Times

Another mob lynching incident in central Punjab’s district of Nankana Sahib lends further credence to the fact that the state apparatus is failing to maintain the rule of law, especially regarding public reactions against the incidents of blasphemy. 

Pakistan is constantly bearing the fruits of the seed of religious intolerance, which is nurtured systematically through the biased syllabus. Accordingly, the patronage of Islamic extremist outfits, unchecked education of religious seminaries propagating fundamentalism, and the provocation on religious grounds using blasphemy laws as a tool are all too common.

Government institutions and the ruling political elites aren’t implementing concrete policies to end the misuse of blasphemy laws by religious extremists in Pakistan.

Human rights activists continue to voice their grave concerns over the rise of extrajudicial killings and mob violence committed in the name of religion. The lynching of Waris, outside a police station in Nankana Sahib, over the unproved allegations of defiling the holy Quran, is the latest example.

Samson Salamat (Rawadari Thereek Chairman) urged the government to curb the abuse of blasphemy laws by making amendments to the blasphemy law. He also underlined the need to take concrete steps to safeguard victims from mob violence and implement regulations to penalize those attacking police stations and making unfounded claims. 

Joseph Jansen (Chairperson of Voice for Justice) said: “It is sad that announcements are made from mosques to mobilize people using the potentially fatal allegation of blasphemy, and the crowd is aroused for engaging in violence in the name of religion without ascertaining whether the accused has committed any act of blasphemy purposefully or accidentally.”

According to Joseph, Pakistan has received many recommendations from countries in the 3rd and 4th cycle of its Universal Periodic Review, respectively. These recommendations call for serious legal and administrative measures – to be implemented – against the misuse of blasphemy laws.

Manzoor Masih Gill (National Commission for Human Rights) said: “…our law enforcement agencies have become helpless – or they are willfully not involved in such incidents.” 

He also said that all proper investigations should be made by the department concerned – and then the case of blasphemy should be submitted before the court of law to decide the case following the principles of a fair trial. 

The Pakistan Observer reports, “A violent mob in Nankana Sahib tortured, killed, and then set on fire a man who was accused of desecrating the Holy Quran in another mob lynching that was widely condemned.” – Kashif Nawab Christian Journalists Association of Pakistan CJAP

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