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ICC Note:

A supreme court lawyer in Pakistan has called for criminal charges to be brought against the instigators of the anti-Christian violence that was narrowly avoided in Mandi Bahauddin earlier this month. According to reports, a Christian from Mandi Bahauddin was accused of blasphemy by a Muslim coworker after seeing an un-Islamic video appear in the Christian’s Facebook feed. Tensions between local Christians and Muslims almost broke out into communal violence after a fatawa was declared against the Christian and local Muslims were encouraged to punish other Christian villagers when the accused could not be found. Communal violence is common following blasphemy accusations in Pakistan, especially when a religious minority is accused. In 2013, an entire Christian neighborhood of Lahore was burned to the ground after a local Christian was accused of abusing the prophet Muhammad during an argument with a Muslim friend.    

5/27/2016 Pakistan (Christians in Pakistan) – Followed by successful mediation of the government in the worsening scenario in Chak 44, in Mandi Bahauddin District, an Apex Court lawyer calls for the registration an FIR against the perpetrators who had incited anti-Christians violence. He whined that police could have taken further action in this case.

A Supreme Court lawyer, Saif-ul-Malook has urged that a criminal case should have been lodged against the people who had incited masses into anti-Christian aggression, which nearly led to another incident similar to those at Gojra or Lahore’ Joseph Colony. He said that police should have taken further action apart from just arbitrating between the Christians and Muslim villagers.

He said that in keeping with the judgment of the Supreme Court, which reads: “In all cases of violation of any of the rights guaranteed under the law, or desecration of the places of worship of minorities, the concerned law enforcement agencies should promptly take action, including the registration of criminal cases against the offenders.” The Apex Court pronounced this ruling on June 19, 2014.

Advocate Saif-ul-Malook went on to explain that “Articles 189 and 190 of the Constitution make it binding on all institutions of Pakistan to obey the Supreme Court’s rulings. However, in Chak 44, the police have so far not registered any criminal cases.” Saif-ul-Malook has been in news as he has been representing a Pakistani Christian woman Asia Bibi on death row after being accused of blasphemy.

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