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NCJP’s signature drive against blasphemy laws
By Our Staff Correspondent
Friday, 28 Aug, 2009 | 02:13 AM PST
FAISALABAD, Aug 27: The National Commission for Justice and Peace (NCJP) has launched a signature campaign for the repeal of blasphemy laws, including sections 295-B, C, 298 A, B and C of the Pakistan Penal Code.
NCJP director Nisar Barkat said in 2000, the commission had launched a signature campaign for the restoration of joint electorate in Pakistan and collected around 200,000 signatures from people belonging to different segments of society.
He said the commission had started distribution of the forms designed for the campaign which would be collected till Sep 15 for their onward submission to the quarters concerned.
Quoting from the data collected by the commission, he said from 1986 to August 2009, 964 people were booked under these laws and of them 479 were Muslims, 119 Christians, 340 Ahmadis, 14 Hindus and 10 others. As many as 32 people, he said, had been killed by the mob or individuals after facing blasphemy allegations.
Deploring inaction of successive governments regarding misuse of theses laws, Mr Barkat said their repeal was the only solution to the issue.
He urged the parliament to repeal blasphemy laws since they were a source of promoting religious intolerance and disharmony in society.
Citing recent violent incidents in Gojra as an example, he said they were prompted by abuse of blasphemy laws which justified violence against the accused.