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Pakistan: crackdown commencing?

While Christians fear that government compliance with Pakistan’s Federal Shariat Court’s (FSC) order given on December 4 to remove life imprisonment as a punishment for insulting Muhammad could usher in a new era of persecution, some critics said the greater concern is that it could broaden the powers of the controversial court.

Morning Star News

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Pakistan Ulema Council chairman Allama Tahir Ashrafi | photo: Zimbio.com.

Section 295-C of Pakistan’s blasphemy laws calls for either death or life imprisonment for persons convicted of insulting Muhammad. The FSC has given the government a ‘couple of months’ to implement, through parliament, the order to remove life imprisonment as a possible punishment. The FSC order comes less than three years after assassinations of two government officials silenced most criticism of the blasphemy laws.