Pakistan vows not to amend law that impose mandatory death penalty for blasphemy
The Pakistani government has announced that it will not seek to amend the blasphemy law which have a mandatory death penalty.
It also declared that it would not leniency towards anyone convicted under the laws.
The announcement came as Muslim radicals ended a four-day sit-in near the country’s federal parliament, and just days after the deadly Easter Sunday bombing in Lahore.
The protestors were supporters of Mumtaz Qadri who killed the Punjab governor Salman Taseer, after he was accused of blasphemy.
The government also agreed to release hundreds of people arrested during the demonstration – those who not accused of attacking property or personnel.
But it did not give assurances in relation to two of the protestors’ demands – Qadri to be publicly declared a martyr, and the execution of Asia Bibi, the first Christian woman in Pakistan to be sentenced to death for blasphemy.
For years there has been no attempt by the Pakistani government to amend the laws, so such assurances cannot have been difficult for it to make.