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Politicians intervene to save Pakistan mother and son in blasphemy nightmare

South Asia

Politicians intervene to save Pakistan mother and son in blasphemy nightmare

Young students at a Christian School, Pakistan. Credit: Barnabas Fund

Young students at a Christian School, Pakistan. Credit: Barnabas Fund

A Christian woman and her nine-year-old son from Quetta had a narrow escape from the consequences of Pakistan’s notorious blasphemy laws after being falsely accused of burning pages from the Qu’ran.

After four days of questioning, Shakila and Iazhan were released when Christian and Muslim politicians intervened. According to a report by Barnabas Fund, William John Barkat, a Christian member of the Provincial Assembly, engaged with Muslim political colleagues to pacify enraged local Muslims and calm the fears of Christians. Blasphemy accusations against Christians often spark mob violence against the whole of the Christian community.

Three of the Muslim politicians who intervened were members of the Islamist party, Jamiat Ulema Islam.

Barkat’s initiative was aided by the Christian Legal Aid Organisation (CLAAS). The group said in a statement: “The entire Christian community has appreciated the role of Muslim and Christian political leaders for taking responsible measures to avoid any conflict between the two communities.”