‘Death only punishment for blasphemy’
Islamabad, April 21: According to a press report (the Dawn of April 22, 2009) the Supreme Court rejected an appeal against a Federal Shariat Court (FSC) ruling that death is the only punishment that the Islamic law provides for blasphemy.
The appeal was filed by Bishop Dani L. Tasleem 18 years ago after the FSC gave the judgment in exercise of its powers to determine if the existing laws conformed to Shariah.
Deputy Attorney-General Agha Tariq Mehmood who represented the federal government told the Dawn that the petition was dismissed because it was not pursued by the appellant. Reports suggest that the petitioner is not alive.
“The issue is of tremendous importance for the people of Pakistan in the sense that the FSC judgment which remained suspended for quite some time will now be implemented,” a constitutional expert told the Dawn.
In fact, the Holy Qur’an condemns blasphemy and defilement of innocent people but ordains no punishment, death or imprisonment, for this offence. The government should have sensed the gravity of the case and itself appealed to the Appellate Bench against the verdict of the FSC.