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Chinese held in Pakistani Kashmir over Quran abuse

Published May 18, 2013 01:55pm


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MUZAFFARABAD: A Chinese man working on an energy project in Pakistan-administered Kashmir was being held Saturday after hundreds of protesters attacked his company offices over the alleged desecration of a Quran, officials said.

Lee Ping, administration manager of a Chinese consortium building the Neelum Jhelum Hydropower project, was accused by co-Pakistani workers of throwing the Quran on the ground.

“We have taken Ping into protective custody after protests erupted in the company when Pakistani labourers saw him throwing the belongings of a Pakistani worker including the Quran,” Sardar Gulfraz, a senior police official, told AFP.

Lee Ping was moving the belongings of a Pakistani doctor after he had refused to vacate his room for relocation.

“Doctor Sajid had a dispute with the company management about the relocation of his room. He refused to vacate the room and Ping threw out all his belongings in anger,” said local police official Raja Anser Shahzad.

“Local labourers saw Ping throwing out luggage including the Quran and they started protesting. Later, people from outside the company also joined the rally and around 1,000 protesters attacked the offices,” Shahzad told AFP.

Police said the incident happened at midday on Friday, when local Muslims were preparing to offer their main weekly prayers.

“They broke vehicles and windows inside the company premises. We have called in extra police to protect instalments and have also moved Ping to a secret location for protective reasons,” Gulfraz said.

Authorities said a commission had been formed to determine whether Ping was involved in a desecration or not.

Blasphemy is a very sensitive issue in Pakistan, where 97 percent of the 180 million population are Muslims, and even unproven allegations can spark a violent public backlash.

Rights campaigners argue the blasphemy laws, for which the maximum penalty is death, are often abused to settle personal scores and should be reformed.

“(Ping) will be charged under the blasphemy law only after this commission confirms that he was involved in a serious violation,” Gulfraz said.

In March, more than 3,000 furious Muslims rampaged through the Joseph Colony area of Lahore, looting property and burning buildings after a Christian was accused of blasphemy.

Pakistan and China have close friendly relations and Chinese firms and engineers are working in development and energy projects across Pakistan.


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Comments (17) Closed

zoro May 18, 2013 03:22pm

It will be interesting to see how this one is handled ... As the chineese need to go for death penalty

jin May 18, 2013 03:33pm

now even the chinese friends are being victimised.

F. Daruwala May 18, 2013 03:38pm

No ! No ! No ! Chinese cannot commit blasphemy, only the weak and meek can commit blasphemy in Pakistan.

akram May 18, 2013 04:29pm

Its obvious this man likely did not know the significance of the quran. why people have to protest someone who is involved in a project help the country, people are foolish.

Shadae May 18, 2013 04:31pm

I am sorry to say this but we have made a joke out of this blasphemy issue. It really is indeed the Black Law which has been used by people at numerous occasions for personal and/or political reasons. We need to free ourselves from these shackles of ignorance and head towards the path of development and growth. In most of the cases, there are supposedly a couple of witnesses and a thousand follow them blindly towards destroying assets and properties that actually seems to gain NOTHING!! Even in this case, how do you expect a Chinese person to know if what he threw was Quran or not. I could argue the same way with the witnesses if they would be able to recognize any book that is of similar importance to another religion. So back to my main point: WE NEED TO MOVE FORWARD AND CREATE AWARENESS AMONGST THE MASSES!

MAGGU May 18, 2013 04:36pm

He is from a friendly country. He should be released

Anwar May 18, 2013 04:57pm

There is a hadith that "aamal ka doromadar niyat pe he" , meaning "it is the intention of the action that counts". This means an act will be judged by the person's intention. Here, Mr. Lee ping, the chinese man had a dispute with Local Doctor and Lee Ping threw the belongings of the Doctor. It seems that Mr Ping had no intention of being disrespectful of the religous book. It is purely a material dispute between Mr.Ping and the Doctor but some one has made it look as if Mr. ping wanted to abuse a religous book. Quran teaches us to live with wisdome and logic but we rarely use them.

Shiv May 18, 2013 05:06pm

He is a Chinese, not some poor Christian. And so even if he abuses Islam, he will be awarded the Nishan e Haider. Only because the Chinese would support you against India! And in India the Muslims are safer than in Pakistan! How odd!

Darbullaj May 18, 2013 05:12pm

Interesting to see how mullahs will tackle Chinese and Chinese will tackle mullahs.

Srinivas Rao May 18, 2013 07:24pm

He should be pardoned. The act may be inadvertent.

deskchair May 18, 2013 08:25pm

How is this possibly good for Pakistan? Who will want to visit or work in Pakistan when there is constantly the threat of this sort of insane violence dangling over your head? Why couldn't they just have picked up the Koran and brushed it off and moved on? You don't hear about this sort of insanity in Turkey or Indonesia or Morocco. So this isn't a problem with Muslims, this is a problem with how the Pakistani state has corrupted religion by letting it be used as a weapon against others. The best thing Pakistan can do for the image of Islam is to have a separation of religion and state like they have in every well run country in the world.

yasir May 18, 2013 10:09pm

no doubt we have good relations with China, but under the law every one must be treated equally, if God forbid the same inhuman act done by a Muslim, defiantly he/she should be brought for a painful torment of death. proud to be a muslim

Aftab Kenneth Wilson May 19, 2013 01:17am

This is only seen in our country where anyone including foreigners no matter whether he or she is not aware which book or a page is being thrown or burnt out can easily face a death sentence. This law has now become a '' Trap ''.

omar May 19, 2013 03:01am

@MAGGU :double standards how sad you dont spare your country men and want to bow down to your masters china

Nitin May 19, 2013 03:28am

Biggest classroom for abusing Religion in world..... Pakistan

Sami May 19, 2013 04:59am

How the Chinese could be blamed of blasphemy ? He was throwing some belongings of the Pakistani Engineer, who was adamant to vacate the room despite the official order. Certainly, the Chinese was not supposed to recognize the materials he was throwing. It was purely a concocted case framed by the engineer and his colleagues against the Chinese Officer, whereas, the Pakistani was already not in good terms with him. Those persons involved in such vicious game must be punished. They are the selfish persons who do not forget to exploit every good or bad occasion for their personal gain. If they had any complaint against the Chinese Officer then they had to go to the superiors first to clear the matter. Working against the Sharia is blasphemy and all the Pakistanis involved to nab the Chinese in a very flimsy and concocted crime must be tried under the Sharia Law.

Sami May 19, 2013 05:13am

@Shadae: Nice expression. I could not find the reason of this inhuman law. Whole practice of blasphemy by the masses can not be a part of justice.