(AsiaNews) In arresting Yousaf Masih for allegedly desecrating the Quran, the police failed to uphold the recent amendments made by Pakistans parliament to the countrys Blasphemy Law, this according to Shahbaz Bhatti, chairman of the All Pakistan Minorities Alliance (APMA). In an interview with AsiaNews, Mr Bhatti called for Masihs immediate release and condemned the attacks that took place against Hindus and Christians in the city of Nowshera after the mans arrest on June 28. On the same day, a Muslim mob burnt down the Hindu Lamba Vera temple and ransacked nearby Christian and Hindu homes in a town 40 km east of Peshawar ( North-West Frontier Province ).
The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) reported that some 70 Hindu and Christian women and children fled their homes in Lal Kurthi, near Noswhera, fearing for their lives after the temple was torched; they have not yet returned. Yousaf Masih, 60, a sweeper by profession, was asked to burn some garbage and papers. Among the waste to be disposed, there were some verses of the Quran. However, being illiterate, Mr Masih could not know what he had to destroy. The blasphemy case against Yousaf Masih is baseless, Mr Bhatti said. Police registered the case [. . .] without any investigation or proof, which clearly proves the growing misuse of Blasphemy law in Pakistan .”