Recommend UsEmail this PageeGazetteAlislam.org
Friday, November 26, 2010
ISLAMABAD: Law Minister Babar Awan has categorically said that no one should think of repealing the blasphemy law. “In my presence as the Law Minister, no one should think of finishing this law,” he said while declaring himself to be a “Shaheen” (eagle). He was talking to a senior member of the Jang Group on Thursday.
The minister came out with these unequivocal remarks in the wake of the latest media debate over the blasphemy laws, which started once again by the recent award of a death sentence to a Christian woman on blasphemy charges.
The categorical stance by Minister Awan, arguably one of the closest aides of President Zardari and one with a role in many controversies, is in direct contradiction to that taken by Governor Punjab Salmaan Taseer, who while being critical of the same law is all out to secure the release of Aasia Masih, sentenced to death by a district and sessions court of Nankana Sahib in the Punjab. Taseer has already declared that the convict was innocent and according to observers his view is shared by many commentators who in a majority of cases may not even have gone through the details of the evidence and judgment.
While appreciating the comment that any effort to amend or repeal the blasphemy law would lead to chaos, the Babar Awan emphasised that in his presence as law minister no one would be allowed to change or repeal the law.
“In order to remove ambiguity pl (please) also write 2moro (tomorrow) that I told U (The Jang Group) (that) in my presence as Law Minister no one should think of finishing this law,” this is what the law minister precisely said in his written statement. On this, the law minister was asked if he should be quoted, he said, “Sure.” Babar Awan added that he was servant of servants of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).
He said, “I’m khadim of khadmaan-e-Rasool.” He prayed that candle of ishq-e-Rasool (love for Prophet (PBUH)) is lit in every heart. The law minister, instead, said that all religious nobles must be respected in order to save world from crisis like the publication of caricature.
It is not clear if the law minister has the blessings of President Asif Ali Zardari, who is under pressure to pardon the convict Aasia Masih but it shows serious cracks within the ruling elite about its policy on the blasphemy law.
Babar Awan claims to be a religious scholar; he gives lectures on Islam but at the time faces serious accusation of corruption in the Harris Steel Mill case of Bank of Punjab scandal. Additionally, he continues to claim to be a PhD and uses the prefix of Dr with his name despite the fact that the Monticello University, which awarded him the fake degree, has already been declared unauthorized both by the American and Pakistani authorities to have been entitled to issue such a degree at any stage.
Babar Awan is also generally believed as the man responsible for the government’s confrontational mode with the judiciary. All controversies notwithstanding, on the issue of blasphemy laws he has opted to detach himself from all those who are demanding the repeal of these laws.