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Amendment of Blasphemy Laws of Pakistan

Autor:   •  February 22, 2019  •  1,576 Words (7 Pages)  •  46 Views

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Religious extremist argue that such laws are necessary for the protection of beliefs of the majority. Although, the protection of belief is necessary it is just as important to maintain an environment where critical discussions on region can be held. No religion in itself has stated any punishment for blasphemy. Religious groups should be tolerant and open to criticism and questioning just as every group in the society. However, some may still argue that insult to religion should be punishable and according to them even criticism towards religion is an insult towards it. Yet, criticism and freedom of expression is the fundamental human right of all and cannot be compromised upon. Moreover, as policymakers agree that the problem with a law often lies in its flawed implementation. When charges are levelled under these laws, the police have the authority to arrest the alleged offender without a warrant and can commence their investigations without orders from the magistrate’s court. A wide range of people can register the complaint to the police, including those who are not direct witnesses of the alleged blasphemy. In some cases, the delay between the alleged blasphemy and the time when the case is registered with the police is such that it raises doubts about the credibility of the allegation. In most cases evidence is the word of the witnesses of the alleged crime. In jurisdictions like Pakistan, it is claimed by the witnesses that the repetition of the words or actions of the alleged blasphemers would make them blasphemers too, hence exempting them from having to explain the accusation. Therefore, the courts can never reach a logical and rational conclusion and often declare the alleged to be guilty under the pressure built up by the prosecutors using religious emotional appeal.

Taking into consideration all the hundreds of cases of misuse of the law to target minorities, it can be concluded that there is something wrong with the law. In a democratic state like Pakistan, the protection of minorities and the freedom of speech and expression of all are matters of grave importance when compared to matters of insult towards a specific religious group. People of a country need to be assured that their lives and rights can be secured by the Government and that a group of people would not compromise their safety of life after being offended over a question or criticism directed towards their religion. Everyone should be free as to express their views on any topic including religion. Hence, the blasphemy laws of Pakistan should be amended as to ensure the protection of belief and rights of all including minorities and no misuse of the law for personal benefits.

Work Cited

“What are Pakistan’s blasphemy laws?” BBC.com, 6 November 2014. Web. 30 November 2017

The Newspaper’s Staff Reporter. “Blasphemy accusations increased after current law introduced” Dawn.com. 19 December 2015. Web. 30 November 2017

“As Good As Dead” The impact of blasphemy laws in Pakistan. 2016. 7-8. Web

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