Published on June 13, 2020
Mr. Abid Saqi, Vice Chairman, Pakistan Bar Council has strongly condemned the recent onslaught of religious fanatics against Dr. Arfana Mallah leveled against her, false accusations of Blasphemy.
Dr. Arfana is the eminent academic and feminist activist having spent her whole life not only for women’s rights but also for social justice for all. She, in fact, just has criticized the constant misuse and exploitation of Blasphemy law by religious extremists specially against individuals belonging to minorities and weaker segments of society, which, in view of very elaborate Judgement of the Supreme Court (PLD 2016 SC 17) can not be termed as “Blasphemy”, because criticism of misapplication or misuse of the law regarding blasphemy does not amount to “Blasphemy” itself.
A citizen in a democratic society has a right to contend, debate or maintain that a law has not been correctly framed by the State in terms of the mischief sought to be suppressed or that the law promulgated by the State ought to contain adequate safeguards against its misapplication or misuse by motivated persons.
The religiously motivated attack on Dr. Arfana Mallah, under the garb of Blasphemy, is aimed to endanger her life, which not only is against all human norms but also violates the fundamental right to freedom of expression guaranteed by the Constitution.
The Vice Chairman, Pakistan Bar Council has, therefore, demanded of the Government for taking immediate stern action against responsible people and to provide security and protection of life to Dr. Arfana Mallah against serious threats by extremist forces who are bent upon to create social disorder in the country by their nefarious designs.