President takes notice of arrest of a minor Christian girl, calls for report


ISLAMABAD, Aug 19 (APP): President Asif Ali Zardari has taken serious note of the report of the arrest of a minor Christian girl in Islamabad on the charges of blasphemy and called for a report from the Interior Ministry.
According to reports a minor Christian girl Miss Ramsha, 11, resident of Hameeraabad in Sector G-8 was arrested and sent to jail allegedly for desecrating pages from the Holy Quran. Some reports, however, also said that the girl was burning used papers collected from the garbage for cooking when some one entered her house accusing the family of burning the pages of Holy Quran.
This provoked people of the katchi abadi who gathered and beat the mother and sister of Ramsha and also burned some houses of the Christians.
Meanwhile, President Asif Ali Zardari has called for rejecting extremist trends and negative propaganda of misguided elements in the country by promoting the Islamic teachings of tolerance and affinity. The President, in his message to the nation on Eid-ul-Fitr, said thta a society developed on such lines would be helpful in resolving the issues of extremism and violence. The President mentioned the recent incident of firing by miscreants on the passenger buses in Lulusar (Gilgit-Baltistan) and said such acts of sectarianism and violence are completely against the teachings of Islam. Similarly, he said, the terrorist attack in Kamra, which was foiled by the courage and valour of the country’s armed forces, clearly violated the spirit of Islam.

President takes notice of arrest of a minor Christian girl, calls for report” ایک تبصرہ

  1. Blasphemy or rights abuse?: President directs interior ministry to submit detailed report
    ISLAMBAD: Taking notice of the arrest of an 11-year-old Christian girl on blasphemy charges, President Asif Ali Zardari on Sunday sought a detailed report of the incident from interior ministry.
    Rifta Masih – who suffers from Down’s Syndrome – was jailed by the police in Mehrabadi village, near Islamabad, on Saturday after being severely beaten up by locals, for allegedly burning 10 pages of the Noorani Qaida.
    After the issue was highlighted in the media, Islamabad police registered a case against the imam of the local mosque of Meharabad area near G-11 sector for instigating locals to set the minor girl on fire.
    “Investigation is underway and the authenticity of the incident, age of the girl and her motive is yet to be determined,” said the station house officer (SHO) of the Qasim Niazi police station.
    Instead of trying to contain the situation and allay tensions in the area through deployment of police, the SHO simply asked the Christian community of the area to run for their lives. The official revealed that a new FIR has been registered against the cleric and 175 others who he claimed have approached the police with a demand to hand over the Christian girl so she could be set on fire publically at the main chowk of the area.
    Advisor to the Prime Minister on National Harmony Dr Paul Bhatti told The Express Tribune that Rifta would be medically examined. Bhatti said that he has also taken up the issue with religious scholars of different sects, who, after Eidul Fitr, will determine whether Rifta’s act was deliberate or unintentional, since she is only a child.
    A cleric, who talked on phone on the condition of anonymity, gave The Express Tribune his version of the incident. According to him, he was teaching Quran to students in the mosque when he heard noises of neighbours beating someone. When he approached the scene, he was told that the girl, who he himself admitted was a minor, had taken away a copy of the Holy Book from a neighbour’s house and set it on fire.
    The cleric vowed to defend “Islam in this world and next world” and claimed that after witnessing the incident he, along with some other locals, approached the police for registration of a case against the girl.
    He said when the police remained reluctant to register the case; locals were forced to stage a protest. While the cleric claimed that it was him who approached the police for legal action, the police said that they saved the girl and her family through a timely intervention or the mob led by this cleric would have burnt the girl alive.
    SHO Niazi said that if a timely operation was not conducted, locals could have burnt the Christians of the area. Others said that instead of denying the accusations, the Christian population fled from the area. Abdur Rehman, 24, who also lives in the area, said that he wanted to kill the girl but police escorted her along with the family.
    Reactions
    Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Human Rights Cell has expressed concern over the detention of the juvenile Christian girl. The Human Rights Cell proposed that in any such event, law must allow leadership of religious communities and district administration to jointly enquire the matter before the registration of a complaint and arrest.
    According to the Centre for Law and Justice, at least 200 to 300 Christian families from Meharabadi Jaffar, Sector G-12, Islamabad, have fled after Rifta was accused of blasphemy.
    The organisation said that the government has failed to provide security to these Christian families who fled from their houses after clerics pledged to attack Christians and evict them forcibly.
    http://tribune.com.pk/story/424573/blasphemy-or-rights-abuse-president-directs-interior-ministry-to-submit-detailed-report/

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