Minister recommends pardon for blasphemy convict


ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Minorities Shahbaz Bhatti on Thursday presented a report on the Asiya case to President Asif Ali Zardari, recommending pardon for the convict.
In a similar development, Pontifical Council for Inter-Religious Dialogue President Jean Louis Cardinal Tauran also called on Zardari and thanked him for taking interest in the case. The report along with supporting documents concluded that the blasphemy case against Asiya was registered on grounds of personal enmity and the story narrated in the FIR was concocted and mala fide.
It recommended pardon for Asiya and suspension of the sentence. It also recommended providing security to her in jail and also to her family. Bhatti, while presenting the report, said minorities, as a marginalised community knew the consequences of blasphemy and could never think of committing the offence.
The president asked Bhatti to propose names for a committee of scholars and experts to recommend reformed procedures to effectively prevent misuse of the law. He said the committee should draw its recommendations in consultation with political parties and stakeholders for the consideration of the government.
President’s spokesman Farhatullah Babar quoted Zardari as saying that the government would not allow anyone to misuse the blasphemy law.