CM Maryam Nawaz Stresses Need for Law Enforcement to Curb Blasphemy-Related Violence

Lahore, July 4, 2024 — In a robust address at the Ittehad Bainul Muslimeen conference held in Lahore, Punjab Chief Minister Maryam Nawaz emphasized the critical need for police intervention in cases of blasphemy while cautioning against the misuse of such allegations for personal vendettas.

Speaking at the event, CM Maryam highlighted the alarming trend of mob lynchings in Pakistan, triggered often by unproven allegations of blasphemy. These incidents, she noted, have become a tool for "settling scores" rather than seeking justice. She referenced the recent resolution by the lower house of the Pakistani parliament, which condemned the surge in mob violence, including the tragic lynching of a man in Swat over alleged desecration of the holy Quran.

Maryam Nawaz addressed the assembly, stating, "A lot of times, these allegations are used to settle scores. If a mob gathers and takes the law into its own hands without determining who did what, then no one would be spared." She stressed the need for a thorough investigation to determine the veracity of blasphemy allegations and appropriate sentencing if guilt is established.

The Chief Minister underscored the necessity for law enforcement to act swiftly and decisively to prevent mob justice and ensure that legal processes are followed. She cited an incident where quick police action in Sargodha saved a Christian family from a similar fate, contrasting it with the deadly riots in Jaranwala.

Maryam Nawaz also criticized the politicization of crimes, citing an example of a religious leader who committed a heinous crime but faced religiously charged backlash when police intervened. She asserted, "Once someone's crime is proved, the person is no longer a Muslim, Sikh, Hindu or a Christian but a criminal and they should be punished for their act".

The Chief Minister further pointed out the efforts made by the Punjab government to curb the misuse of social media for spreading hate, mentioning the blocking of over 50,000 accounts. She emphasized that actions against teachings contrary to Islam's principles should be viewed and treated as criminal acts.

In her address, Maryam Nawaz also reflected on the challenges faced by her party in the past, including politically motivated allegations and attacks, such as the assassination attempt on Planning Minister Ahsan Iqbal in 2018.

The conference, organized by the Punjab government to promote religious harmony, saw Maryam Nawaz calling for collective action to tackle the rising complaints of desecration and to ensure that justice prevails without resorting to mob violence.

This call to action by the Punjab Chief Minister aims to foster a more just and orderly society, where allegations are met with due process rather than mob retribution.