Alert Sign Dear reader, online ads enable us to deliver the journalism you value. Please support us by taking a moment to turn off Adblock on Dawn.com.

Alert Sign Dear reader, please upgrade to the latest version of IE to have a better reading experience

.

ISLAMABAD: A pastor has approached the capital’s police, seeking the registration of a case against a member of the federal cabinet on the charge of blasphemy, police and the complainants told Dawn on Thursday.

The complainant has warned that the Christian community could “go to any extent” and had the right to launch countrywide protests if a case was not registered and the accused remain unpunished.

Pastor Yousaf Bhatti, Joint Christian Action Committee President Akram Waqar Gill and Chairman Samuel Yaqoob and All Pakistan Muslim League Islamabad President Javed Akhter Bhatti have nominated an adviser to the prime minister in their complaint.

The complaint states that a couple of days ago, some people (three ministers and the adviser in question) held a press conference at the Press Information Department, where one of them compared Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to the Prophet Jesus Christ, adding that this had hurt the sentiments of the Christian community around the country.

The complainants have sought a case under Section 295-C of the Pakistan Penal Code, which deals with “Use of derogatory remarks, etc., in respect of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him)”. The complainants have asked that the accused be arrested as per legal procedure and punished according to the law.

When asked why they had sought a case under 295-C, which is specific to Islam, Mr Gill said the police had also pointed this out, but the complainants believed that since all prophets were equal, the adviser should be proceeded against under this section.

Pastor Yousaf Bhatti told Dawn that the cabinet member in question committed blasphemy by comparing the prime minister with Jesus Christ.

“One of them stated that whatever Nawaz Sharif was suffered was similar to what happened to Jesus Christ,” he said.

“We will also approach the Supreme Court if police fail to take action against the accused,” the pastor said.

Aabpara police confirmed that a complaint had been lodged and the legal process had been initiated. An officer told Dawn on condition of anonymity that the complaint was sent to senior officers of the area and the legal branch for an opinion.

Published in Dawn, July 14th, 2017