Muslims have used blasphemy laws to tend to personal enmities against fellow Muslims and Non Muslims, Salmaan Taseer was killed for only asking the law to be reviewed (not even repealed). Prior to 1986(when this law was made) only 14 cases pertaining to blasphemy were reported.
An estimated number of 1,274 people have been charged under the stringent blasphemy laws of Pakistan between 1986, from when they were included in the Constitution by General Zia ul Haq, until 2010.
Pakistan’s Penal Code Section dates back to pre-partition India when it was introduced in 1860. Section 295, better known as the Blasphemy Law, deals with religious offences and was meant to prevent religious violence. Prior to 1986, only 14 cases pertaining to blasphemy were reported.
The blasphemy laws include a death penalty for the defamation of the Holy Prophet and life imprisonment for the desecration of the Holy Quran.
According to sources, 51 people accused of blasphemy were murdered before their respective trials were over. However, the death sentence has never been implemented.
Tahir Iqbal, a Christian convert from Islam and resident of Lahore, was accused of abusing Prophet Mohammad at the time of Azaan and imparting anti-Islamic education to children he tutored.
Iqbal was an engineer with the Pakistan Air Force before being paralysed and used a wheelchair. He lived near a mosque in Lahore and his change in religious affiliation had annoyed many. So much, that the local cleric accused him of abusing the Holy Prophet during azaan.
The case registered against him accused him of abusing the Holy Prophet, imparting anti-Islamic education to children who came to him for tuition and defiling the Holy Quran by underlining it with a green marker.
Iqbal was denied bail due to a misinterpretation of the PPC by a sessions court judge on the basis of his conversion and “since conversion from Islam into Christianity is itself a cognizable offence involving serious implications, hence I do not consider the petitioner entitled to the concession of bail at this stage.”
However, the PPC does not recognise conversion as a recognisable offence. Even though his health condition had been certified by a medical officer, it did not have any affect on the court’s decision and he died in jail after allegedly being poisoned in July 1992.http://beta.dawn.com/news/750512/timeline-accused-under-the-blasphemy-law
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