Punjab Assembly’s resolution on eve of new year
Lahore; December 31, 2019: The daily Dawn published the following as 4-column lead story in its Metro Section on January 1, 2020 (extracts):
PA resolution seeks most stringent anti-blasphemy laws
By Intikhab Hanif
LAHORE: The Punjab Assembly on Tuesday unanimously passed a resolution asking the federal government to make new or improve existing laws to sternly punish blasphemers and set up a Saudi Arabia like central screening or filtration system to intercept blasphemous material on social media. …
The resolution was presented by Mines Minister Ammar Yasir. It said there existed anti-blasphemy laws in the country but they were not being enforced in letter and spirit, allowing some people to commit blasphemy in the garb of freedom of expression and hurt feelings of Muslims.
It said blasphemous content was available on social media and also in the international print and electronic media. Some importers too were importing books containing such material, hurting the feelings of Muslims not only in Pakistan but also abroad.
“Therefore, this house demands the immediate establishment of a Saudi Arabia-like central filtration and screening system to prevent blasphemous content. Laws should immediately be made to prevent printing and sale of local or foreign religious books without the certification of Muthidda Ulema Board and the federal religious affairs ministry, also disallowing presentation of such material in regular and social media.
“The books containing blasphemous material should immediately be confiscated and their import be disallowed. The Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act 2016 and PP’s Sections 295 and 298 should be improved and enforced to award deterrent punishment to the blasphemers.”
The above Resolution is beyond our comment. We only quote here the steely human rights activist YL Hamdani:
“Instead of religion being the personal faith of an individual, it is currently the business of the state in Pakistan, indeed its only business.”
Op-ed: Pakistan is a theocracy
@the Real YLH – Dailytimes.com.pk/529370/