ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani on Wednesday categorically said that the government had no intention to amend the blasphemy law, adding that its misuse should be prevented.
“Neither has the government moved a bill nor has any committee been formed to amend the said law as both the treasury and opposition benches are on the same page and are unanimous on this sensitive issue,” Prime Minister Gilani told the National Assembly in response to a point raised by Leader of the Opposition Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan about a policy statement by the prime minister regarding the blasphemy law.
He said that a Muslim cannot have two opinions on the blasphemy law and being a descendant of the Prophet, he cannot even think of amending it.
About Sherry Rehman’s bill regarding the blasphemy law, the prime minister made it clear that it was not a party policy and she had moved the bill in her individual capacity.
Prime Minister Gilani said he had spoken to Sherry Rehman about it and told her that being a sensitive issue it should have been discussed within the party before being moved.
“She agreed with me,” he said.
Gilani said he called an ulema conference on Namoos-i-Risalat and made it clear to them that the government had no intention to amend the law. He invited the ulema to come forward and join hands with the government in its efforts to prevent the misuse of the blasphemy law, adding that if the minorities have any reservations, the law can be made more effective in its functioning.
Prime Minister Gilani informed the House that a majority of the cases under the blasphemy law had so far been registered against Muslims. He said the government respected the ulema and that they were free to take out rallies but it should not be against the government as the government had made it clear that it respected the law.
To another point of Chaudhry Nisar regarding US national Raymond Davis, Prime Minister Gilani said the whole world had focused upon the Pakistani nation’s reaction and wanted to know whether it would be a mature move or not.
He said Pakistan was a sovereign and responsible state with an independent judiciary, free media and a vibrant civil society, and that the government had no intention to take steps which could bring bad name to the country.
He said Raymond Davis’ matter was in court. The government would respect the judiciary and whatever decision it makes would be accepted in letter and spirit, he said.