BLASPHEMY AND PAKISTAN: AN 8-YEAR-OLD ACCUSED BECOMES THE YOUNGEST TO BE CHARGED

Religious intolerance, fanaticism, and ridiculous laws have scarred Pakistan for quite some time now. Despite the efforts from the Parliament and law enforcement agencies, there is little to no change in the status quo with significant friction generated between the liberals and religious extremists over the case of an eight-year-old accused of Blasphemy in the Rahim Yar Khan district in Punjab.

 

While the child is being held in police custody, his family has gone into hiding and many residents of the district have fled as a result of the attack on the Hindu temple to gain revenge. The police force was involved to lower the heat of the situation.

 

The Guardian got a word with the boy and his family that plead about the innocence of the child as an eight-year-old is not familiar with the concept of blasphemy. They also mentioned that being kept in jail for over a week has started to take a toll on him. While the Hindu community is scared of the deep-rooted extremism, no concrete actions are being taken to ensure their safety. This view is shared by many of the citizens yet there are no signs of change.

 

The situation has shocked legal experts who see no rationale behind the thought, despite several cases of the law being used to aggravate situations and personal grievances against minorities. Levying a charge of blasphemy against an eight-year-old can be considered borderline inhuman.

 

With many people riding in support for the boy with the likes of Kapil Dev and Ramesh Kumar, the safety of the Hindu community is still at risk as the culprits of the attacks at the temple are still at large. The mob rage that has taken the life of several minorities accused is hot on heels for an eight-year-old boy and it’s high time that the institutions of Pakistan serve to protect their minorities.

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