The government should provide “total protection” to Pakistan Christians, including Rimsha and her family, demanded a panel of five speakers at a press conference by Centre for Legal Aid Assistance and Settlement (CLAAS).
The eight-point list of demands issued by CLAAS include provision of psycho-social trauma counselling to Rimsha and that she be tried under the Juvenile Justice System Ordinance provisions, keeping in mind that she suffers from Down’s Syndrome.
Other demands are:
1) Qari Khalid Jadoon, the prayer leader who accused Rimsha, be tried under the existing blasphemy laws.
2) the report and recommendations of a parliamentary committee on blasphemy laws chaired by MNA Nafeesha Shah be made public.
3) the blasphemy law be revised to prevent its misuse, abuse and exploitation.
4) prevent law enforcement agencies from succumbing to mob threats, pressure and allowing extra-judicial mob vigilante actions.
The speakers on the panel were CLAAS Director Joseph Francis, Raiwind Bishop Samuel Robert Azariah, rights activist Tahira Abdullah, Christian-Muslim Federation International Qazi Abdul Qadeer Khamosh and Christian Study Centre Peace & Interfaith Harmony Director Romana Bashir.
Abdullah elaborated during the Q&A session that the Urdu translation of the anti-blasphemy law in Pakistan focuses just on Islam instead of ensuring respect for all religions, like Islam commands.
She added that the problems in the blasphemy laws arose after General Ziaul Haq made a series of revisions and additions to them between 1982 and 1986. She concluded that there should be a single law ensuring respect for all religions in Pakistan.