Pakistan: Islamic groups threaten Supreme Court judges ahead of Asia Bibi ruling

Asia Bibi with Punjab Governor, Salmaan Taseer, who was assassinated for supporting her case. (Photo: Office of the Governor of Punjab)
Radical religious groups in Pakistan have called for mass protests and threatened the judges of the country’s Supreme Court in Islamabad ahead of their ruling in the blasphemy case of Christian woman Asia Bibi. The hardline Islamic party, the Tehreek-e-Labaik Pakistan (TLP), threatened the judges in a press conference on . . . Read More

Pakistan’s Supreme Court hears Asia Bibi’s ‘blasphemy’ appeal but delays ruling

Aasiya Noreen, a Pakistani Christian woman, has been on death row for over eight years for alleged blasphemy. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)
Pakistan’s Supreme Court in the capital Islamabad has finally heard the much-delayed appeal of Asia Bibi, the first Christian woman sentenced to death under Pakistan’s blasphemy law, today, 8 October. It has not announced its decision, saying it will ‘reserve judgment’ for several days or possibly weeks. Aasiya Noreen, commonly . . . Read More

Blasphemy accusation draws mob to Pakistan town’s only Christian street

Blasphemy accusation draws mob to Pakistan town’s only Christian street
As horrific details emerge of a young Muslim artist being tortured to death for alleged blasphemy, separately a young Christian man has been charged with blaspheming against Islam’s prophet, a crime punishable with death in Pakistan. Farhan Aziz, 26, from Muslim Town in Gujranwala district, about 100 kilometres from Lahore, . . . Read More

Blasphemers should be put to death, says one Pakistan party as elections near

Blasphemers should be put to death, says one Pakistan party as elections near
Ahead of Pakistan’s general elections later this month, the newly established Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) party is gaining traction with its anti-blasphemy agenda, Al-Jazeera reports. The party calls for blasphemers against Islam to be put to death and for those who kill alleged blasphemers to be celebrated. Its election posters often . . . Read More

Gunman shoots Pakistan minister over blasphemy law

Gunman shoots Pakistan minister over blasphemy law
Pakistan’s interior minister, who has championed the country’s minority communities, has survived an assassination attempt by a gunman protesting against the country’s blasphemy laws. Ahsan Iqbal was shot in the arm before police overpowered his suspected attacker, 21-year-old Abid Hussain, the BBC reported. Iqbal was shot on Sunday (6 May) . . . Read More

Pakistan court orders citizens to declare religion

Religious minorities in Pakistan have to declare their religion when applying for identification papers or for government jobs making them "even more vulnerable" activists say. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)
Pakistan’s citizens must now declare their religion when applying for identity documents, or if they want to work in government or register to vote, Islamabad’s High Court ruled on Friday (9 March). Applicants who disguise their true religion defy the constitution and betray the state, the judge said. Their true . . . Read More

Pakistan: Christian family attacked for helping build church wall

Pakistan: Christian family attacked for helping build church wall
Five members of a Christian family in northeast Pakistan were attacked and injured as they helped to build a boundary wall around their church on Sunday, 4 March. The pastor of the Pakistan Gospel Assemblies church in Yousufwala village, on the outskirts of the Punjabi city of Sahiwal, told World . . . Read More

Pakistan student kills school principal in blasphemy row

Banner protesting against changes to the blasphemy laws, Peshawar 2017 (World Watch Monitor)
A Pakistani student has shot and killed his school principal after they argued over the student missing classes to attend protests over “blasphemous” law changes, reports The Guardian. Police said the unnamed student had attended a sit-in staged by a new ultra-religious party, Tehreek-e-Labaik, to oppose a small change in . . . Read More

Pakistan’s anti-blasphemy protests showcase minorities’ plight

In November there were widespread anti-blasphemy protests in Islamabad and other cities in reaction to proposed changes to an election law. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)
Anti-blasphemy protests in Pakistan have once again highlighted the fragile position of the country’s religious minorities. Life in various parts of Pakistan virtually came to a halt on Saturday (25 November) after the police, paramilitary and other law enforcement agencies clashed with rioters in the capital, Islamabad, resulting in protests . . . Read More