Tens of thousands in Pakistan support blasphemy law

Up to 50,000 people from various religious parties rallied in Karachi on Sunday to oppose any changes in a blasphemy law.

Tens of thousands in Pakistan support blasphemy law

Up to 50,000 people from various religious parties rallied in Karachi on Sunday to oppose any changes in a blasphemy law, police said.

Taseer was killed in the capital, Islamabad, last Tuesday over his views in favour of the blasphemy law's amendment.

Syed Munawar Hasan, the head of Jamaat-e-Islami, said that there was no need to mourn the death of Taseer, while a leader of the Jamiat-e-Ulema-e-Pakistan, from the Barelvi sect, praised Qadri as a hero of Islam.

"We will not accept any change to this law," said Fazl-ur-Rehman, chief of the Jamiat-e-Ulema-e-Islam, a religious party that left the ruling coalition last month over the sacking of one of its ministers.

Rehman said that the government was itself responsible for Taseer's murder. If he had been removed from office and arrested for his comments, he would still be alive, he said.

"And now that you have taken Taseer's case to the court, we also have the right to defend Mumtaz Qadri."

Most of those convicted of blasphemy in Pakistan have their sentences overturned or commuted on appeal through the courts.

Only around three per cent of Pakistan's population of 167 million are estimated to be non-Muslim.


Agencies

Last Mod: 09 Ocak 2011, 18:58
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