HomeMedia WatchPakistan’s blasphemy law highlighted on BBC Radio 4’s ‘Today’ programme
July 27, 2018
Pakistan’s blasphemy law highlighted on BBC Radio 4’s ‘Today’ programme
Pakistan’s notorious blasphemy law, responsible for the suffering and deaths of many Christians and other religious minorities in the country, was highlighted on BBC Radio 4’s ‘Today’ programme this week.
According to Ms. Shaikh the election was a far from perfect process, tainted by “widespread allegations of… pre-poll rigging,” “curbs on media and press freedom,” and “allegations of selective accountability dispensed by Pakistan’s judiciary.”
Towards the end of the interview, however, Ms. Shaikh went on to highlight concerns which should be on the minds of international leaders with Imran Khan’s political stance on aspects of human rights.
Asked about whether Khan’s policy of wanting to introduce an ‘Islamist welfare state’ would have negative connotations for women and for liberal parties in Pakistan, Ms. Shaikh responded by highlighting Khan’s previous voting record on two particular areas which she described as “deeply problematic”:
On women — “he has previously stood against reform of draconian Islamic law which blurs the line between rape and adultery,” said Ms. Shaikh;
On religious minorities — “he has also adopted a very problematic stance on keeping in place Pakistan’s draconian blasphemy laws, which are seen to be widely discriminatory against religious minorities.”
Pakistan’s blasphemy laws have been responsible for a great deal of suffering and even execution of Christians over the years, and there have been widespread international calls for the law to be repealed.
It was refreshing to hear this case highlighted by Ms. Shaikh on the BBC ‘Today’ programme. It is only a pity that the interviewer had to bring the interview to a halt just at that moment. In my view this issue cannot receive enough attention until the law in Pakistan is reformed.
You can hear the interview on the programme here, from 1:09:10 up to 1:14:28.
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Graham is an evangelical Christian believer living in Sussex, UK. He is passionate about helping people to understand what the Bible really says, and about explaining what the Christians of the early centuries believed and taught.