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All Pakistan Minorities Alliance efforts lead to release of Pakistan ‘blasphemer’

By Sheraz Khurram Khan
11/8/08 ISLAMABAD, PAKISTAN (ANS) — A Pakistani court has acquitted a homeopathic doctor who was accused of passing derogatory remarks against the beard of Prophet Muhammad in May this year.

Dr. Robin was released from district Jail Gujranwala on November 4. On the eve of his release from jail, Robin and his family members arrived at the All Pakistan Minorities Alliance (APMA) office to express their gratitude to the APMA Chief and Federal Minister for Minorities’ Affairs, Mr. Shahbaz Bhatti for making efforts for Dr. Robin’s acquittal.

Emotional scenes were witnessed when the APMA Chief and Robin’s family met the freed Christian man.

Robin said the court exonerated him of the blasphemy accusation after Muhammad Rafique, the complainant told the Additional Sessions Judge, Sardar Ahmad Maken that “he had got a blasphemy case registered against me over a misunderstanding.”

“I thank you for keeping in touch with my family after I ran into this trouble (blasphemy accusation). Your moral and financial support to my family and extension of legal aid to me helped me face post-arrest situation boldly”, Dr. Robin told the APMA Chief Shahbaz Bhatti.

When ANS asked him why blasphemy allegation was leveled against him Robin said that he was liked by most of Muslims due to his hospitable, generous and kind posture.

Some Muslims, he said started nursing jealousy for him. “When it (jealousy) peaked they conspired and implicated me in a false blasphemy case”, he said.

Recalling his time at district Jail Gujranwala the Christian doctor said he kept on praying that his worst fear of being killed in the jail or on court premises was not realized.

“I would study Bible after other prisoners would go to sleep”, Robin told ANS.

He said he believed that God would move in His own way to help him pull out of trouble. The APMA has been an incredible support to me and my family, said Robin.

“I would spend more time in prayers when fears of any possible eventuality would start occupying me”, said Dr. Robin.

He said he was concerned as to what would happen to his family if he was killed inside the jail or on court premises.

“God heard my prayers. He protects His people. I am glad over my release from prison”, said Robin.

Dr. Robin called for repeal of Pakistan’s disputed blasphemy laws. The laws were implemented in the country in 1986, allowing extremist elements to make life even difficult for Pakistani minorities, who think they are already facing discrimination.

Talking to ANS the APMA chief expressed hope that Gulsher, a Christian man and his daughter, who were accused of blasphemy last month will be acquitted too.

He claimed that the APMA in the past dealt blasphemy cases of Anwar Masih from Sumandri and Yousaf Masih of Nowshehra in the conservative North West Frontier Province of Pakistan.