Pakistan: Attack on the Interior Minister for blasphemy allegation

Pakistan’s interior minister Ahsan Iqbal, a Sunni Muslim, was shot after a public meeting in the village of Kanjroor, about 150 miles southeast of Islamabad, on 6 May. Abid Hussain, a member of a hard-line Islamist group, was immediately overpowered by the police force. According to his statement, a ‘Muslim Saint’ ordered him in his dreams to kill the interior minister for blasphemy against Islam. 

The attacker was a member of Tehreek-e-Labbaik (TLP), a hardliner Islamic religious political party. The party organised a protest sit-in in Islamabad in November 2017. They were protesting against minor changes in the Election Bill 2017 which they consider as an act of blasphemy. Even if the state was silent during the protest, the Minister was critical of the protesters and their violent actions.

The blasphemy law has often created rights violations against Pakistani minorities such as Christians and Ahmadis. Since it was introduced, dozens of men and women have been killed, hundreds are facing trial and are locked up in jails.

The attack on a Muslim minister shows the gravity of the on-going situation in the country. If government ministers, who have comprehensive security arrangements, are not safe, then who can be? 

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Photo: A Sikh man in the Pakistani town of Nankana reading from the holy book, Guri Granth Sahib

Credit: Shaun D Metcalfe

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Date: 19/05/2018




Religion/Religious minorities

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Name: Aftab Alexander Mughal

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