Pakistani MPs call for reforming blasphemy laws after lynching


Pakistan's parliament on Tuesday called for a reform of controversial blasphemy laws which prescribe the death penalty for insulting Islam, after a university student was killed by a mob last week.

A resolution passed by the National Assembly condemned the lynching of the student, terming it "cold-blooded murder" and expressing resolve "to ensure that strong safeguards may be inserted into the blasphemy law to prevent its abuse through such atrocities in the future."

The move came as the country's top court began a probe into the murder of the student from Abdul Wali Khan University in north-western Pakistan, allegedly for his views on Sufi Islam and socialism.

The blasphemy laws are a highly sensitive subject in majority-Muslim Pakistan and it is the first time Pakistani members of parliament as a whole have called for such changes.

People accused of blasphemy have been gunned down, burned alive and bludgeoned to death in some cases. A secular governor of the most popular Punjab province was shot dead by a police officer in his security detail after called for the release of a Christian woman facing blasphemy charges in 2011.    (dpa)

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