Blasphemy accused sentenced to death

Published January 24, 2014
Additional district and sessions judge Naveed Iqbal also imposed a fine of Rs1 million on Mohammad Asghar, a 65-year-old British national.  — File Photo
Additional district and sessions judge Naveed Iqbal also imposed a fine of Rs1 million on Mohammad Asghar, a 65-year-old British national. — File Photo

ISLAMABAD: A court in Rawalpindi sentenced a self-proclaimed prophet to death on Thursday after convicting him of blasphemy.

Additional district and sessions judge Naveed Iqbal also imposed a fine of Rs1 million on Mohammad Asghar, a 65-year-old British national.

Asghar was arrested in Sadiqabad in 2010 after he wrote letters to different people, a police officer among them, claiming that he was a prophet. Police booked Asghar under section 295-C of the PPC.

The section reads: “Whoever by words, either spoken or written, or by visible representation or by any imputation, innuendo, or insinuation, directly or indirectly, defiles the sacred name of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), shall be punished with death or imprisonment for life, and shall also be liable to fine.”

Public prosecutor Javed Gul produced before the court a copy of letters which Asghar wrote to an SHO of Sadiqabad. Four police officials testified against Asghar.

The prosecution also submitted opinions of handwriting experts testifying that the letters were written by the accused.

In addition to the above-mentioned evidence, the prosecution used Asghar’s confessional statement to support its case.

Initially Sarah Bilal of Lahore appeared as defence counsel but later the government appointed a lawyer for Asghar’s defence after she expressed reluctance in pursuing the case.

The defence lawyer contended that since Asghar was suffering from mental disorder, his case should be treated on humanitarian grounds. The court constituted a medical board to verify the lawyer’s contention.

But the medical board said in its report that Asghar was psychologically stable and did not suffer from any disorder.

Opinion

A crisis of trust?

A crisis of trust?

Most damaging fallout of the constant demonisation of opponents by political leaders is erosion of public trust in politicians.

Editorial

An unseemly dispute
08 Aug, 2022

An unseemly dispute

THERE is clarity, but perhaps not of the kind that Chief Justice of Pakistan Umar Ata Bandial hoped to achieve when...
Unfair on taxpayers
Updated 08 Aug, 2022

Unfair on taxpayers

Unfair move has drawn valid criticism as it coincides with drastic increase in income tax on salaried people and corporates.
Polio nightmare
08 Aug, 2022

Polio nightmare

AS if the resurgence of polio in southern KP were not enough, officials and international monitoring bodies must now...
Political stunt
Updated 07 Aug, 2022

Political stunt

The former PM is attempting to make a very expensive point with his decision to contest all 9 NA seats going up for by-election.
Monsoon emergency
07 Aug, 2022

Monsoon emergency

AS another wet weather system has entered Pakistan, and the federal government has declared a “monsoon...
Taliban’s denial
07 Aug, 2022

Taliban’s denial

THE Afghan Taliban’s recent statement denying any knowledge of the now deceased Al Qaeda chief Ayman...