Christians Excluded from Pakistan’s ‘Blasphemy’ Cases Fast-Tracked for Acquittal

Demonstrators burn furniture during a protest in the Badami Bagh area of Lahore March 9, 2013. PHOTO: REUTERS

LAHORE, Pakistan (Morning Star News) – Punjab Province has excluded Christians from a list of people accused without basis of blaspheming Islam who will have their cases expedited for acquittal, sources said.

Pointing to several Christians languishing in jail on trumped-up blasphemy charges, Christian rights and political activists say discrimination against religious minorities was behind the selection by the Punjab Prosecution Department. The department short-listed 50 cases of alleged blasphemers in Punjab Province that the government says have been victimized by complainants.

“We are not opposed to the government’s support to Muslims wrongly accused of blasphemy, but all citizens of the state should be treated equally and without any prejudice,” said Sajid Ishaq, chairman of the Pakistan Interfaith League (PIL) and central president of the Minorities Wing of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, which rules Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province…