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Pakistan authorities files case against former PM Imran Khan under blasphemy laws

Pakistan authorities files case against former PM Imran Khan under blasphemy laws

By Imran Nasir

 

 

ISLAMABAD (TSAT) - Pakistani authorities on Saturday filed a case against former Prime Minister Imran Khan and his party leaders under blasphemy laws days after pilgrims converged on Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif's delegation and canted slogans in Masjid-i-Nabwi, Saudi Arabia, local media said.

 

The case has been registered in southeastern Faisalabad city, the hometown of current Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah, under Sections 295 (harming or defiling a place of worship with intent to insult a religion), 295-A (deliberate and malicious acts intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs), 296 (disturbing religious assembly) and 109 (abetment) of the Pakistan Penal Code, according to Pakistan leading English daily Dawn. 

 

The complainant of the case is a local citizen of Sanaullah city.

 

However, the case spread anger across the country, and Khan’s supporters accused the new government to put his life in danger. 

 

In the FIR, Khan’s party leaders including Fawad Chaudhry, Shahbaz Gill, Qasim Suri, Sahibzada Jahangir, Aneel Musarrat as well as former interior minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed were nominated.

According to the complainant, the incident at Masjid-i-Nabwi was carried out under a "planned and thought out scheme and conspiracy". He said that his claims were supported by the videos that are being shared on electronic and social media as well as through speeches made by certain PTI leaders, according to Dawn's report. 

 

However, Khan’s party rejected the accusation and called it political victimization. 

 

“No one in recent history has fought the case against islamophobia with more passion, logic and deep conviction than @ImranKhanPTI. To file a ridiculous FIR against him trying to show that he had anything to do with disrespect of masjid e nabavi, is condemnable and reprehensible,” Asad Umar, Secretary-General of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf wrote on Twitter. 

 

The country’s Interior Minister Sanaullah defended the cases and said that there was no justification to not register a case against those who violate the sanctity of Roza-i-Rasool (peace be upon him).

 

Pilgrims were instigated under a plan and some of the people had travelled to Saudi Arabia from Britain. There can be no forgiveness for what these people have done," he said.

 

The Law Minister Azam Nazeer Tarar confirmed that Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif was instructed to him to check the legal status of the case and said the country's laws allow punishment of individuals for their actions abroad if the said actions were crimes in Pakistan, according to the daily.

 

A prominent Pakistani journalist Imran Riaz Khan warned that government is using state power to spread hatred and urged the establishment to come forward and control the situation as Khan's life is in danger. 

“The situation is serious,” Khan warned.

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