Friday, January 28, 2011

Punjab governor rules out change in blasphemy law

The News - Internet Edition
Friday, January 28, 2011,
Safar 23, 1432 A.H.
Punjab governor rules out change in blasphemy law

By our correspondent
Friday, January 28, 2011

LAHORE: Punjab Governor Sardar Latif Khosa has ruled out an amendment to the blasphemy law and asserted that no such plan is under consideration.

Talking to the media after meeting JI Ameer Syed Munawwar Hasan at Mansoorah on Thursday, Khosa dispelled the impression that the PPP was amending the blasphemy law. He said the government had no such plan and asserted that the PPP would defend the Namoos-e-Risalat till the last drop of blood.

He clarified that the fact-finding committee, constituted by President Asif Ali Zardari, was merely aimed at stopping the path of any bill by any member on the private member’s day in the National Assembly.

The governor said he had come to meet the JI leadership in pursuance of the PPP’s policy of national reconciliation, adding that he had also invited Syed Munawwar Hasan to visit the Governor’s House.

Munawwar Hasan demanded the government to take notice of statements by the US government and Pope Benedict XVI on granting pardon to Asia Bibi and the government must dispel ‘misunderstandings’ in this regard.

He also demanded expulsion of representative of the Vatican City from Pakistan. Senior Minister Raja Riaz Ahmed and PPP cabinet members from the Punjab, including Ashraf Khan Sohna, Farooq Yusuf Ghurki and JI leader Liaquat Baloch were also present.

Meanwhile, PML-Q leader Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi has said that the party will participate in the January 30 rally as it does not use the blasphemy issue as a political tool like the PML-N and won’t let anyone change a word in the blasphemy laws.

According to a press statement on Thursday, he said the PML-Q was not afraid of fake cases being registered against its workers and leaders by the Punjab government. He said the PML-Q trusted the judiciary completely and had come out clean from all the politically-motivated cases.

He said the PML-Q would not refrain from taking any step to guard the sanctity of the blasphemy laws. He said the issue of blasphemy was close to the heart of not just the Pakistani people but the Muslim Ummah as a whole and the PML-Q understood the significance and sanctity of the blasphemy law.

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