MANSEHRA: Religious affairs minister Sardar Mohammad Yousuf has said the federal government is not amending the blasphemy law.

“I want to make it clear that our (PML-N-led federal) government is not going to amend or repeal blasphemy law. The law will remain as it is and that those blaspheming against Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) will face the gallows,” he told reporters here on Tuesday.

The minister said the prime minister and his cabinet members weren’t opposed to the blasphemy law.

Mr. Yousaf, who recently returned from Jeddah and Mecca, where he met the relevant authorities to finalise Haj quota for Pakistani pilgrims, said the government had planned to streamline the matters related to Umrah and that parliament would legislate on it soon.

He said the Saudi government had restored the previous Haj quota for Pakistanis allowing 180,000 local residents to perform Haj in 2017.

The minister said extraordinary facilities were being offered to Pakistani pilgrims for the last three years and that it would continue doing so.

PROTESTS THREATENED: The people of Karori have demanded of the provincial government not to include their union council in proposed Darband tehsil and warned they will offer protests if the demand wasn’t met.

The elders and representatives of Karori led by district councillor Rafique Tanoli and tehsil councillor Hafiz Mohammad Younis met Mansehra deputy commissioner Iqbal Hussain and Oghi assistant commissioner Altaf Hussain separately and said they would never be part of the proposed Darband tehsil.

“Tehsil and all village councils of Karori unanimously adopted resolutions asking the government not to include their union council in the proposed Darband tehsil and government,” Mr. Tanoli told the AC.

Hafiz Younis said Darband was far away from Karoro as one traveled hardly 30 minutes and reached in Oghi but he couldn’t reach Darband even after covering long distances.

“Our demand is logical and based on own rights. The government should accept it and never include us in proposed Darband tehsil,” he said.

Deputy commissioner Iqbal Hussain told elders and LG representatives from Karori said he would communicate their demands to the government.

Published in Dawn February 1st, 2017

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