LAHORE: The Punjab Assembly on Wednesday passed the Punjab Tahaffuz Bunyad-e-Islam (protecting the foundation of Islam) Bill of 2020 making publishing of objectionable and/or hate-material punishable.

The bill, which needs the governor’s seal to become a law, was introduced after complaints of using inappropriate or insulting words for Prophet Hazrat Muhammad (SAW), his family and companions.

The new law makes desecration of any prophet, any of the four divine books, family and companions of Prophet Hazrat Muhammad (SAW), as well as abetting or glorification of terrorists, promotes sectarianism in any book punishable with a maximum of five-year jail terms and up to Rs500,000 fine.

It demands the use of words Khatam-un-Nabiyyeen whenever the name of Prophet Hazrat Muhammad (SAW) is mentioned.

It also binds all publishers to submit at least five copies of each edition of the book they publish with the DGPR, which has been empowered to inspect printing presses, book stores and publishing houses, and confiscate before and after printing of books containing such contents.

The DGPR may also investigate, assess or ascertain any act of omission involved in the matter, check record and books of accounts of the publisher on the spot or at any designated office.

Speaker Chaudhry Parvaiz Elahi said the committee that helped in drafting the law should also help in implementing the same.

He said section 3-F of the law should be read with Article 295-C of the Pakistan Penal Code.

He said the federation and other federating units should follow the Punjab Assembly so that the same law is implemented all over Pakistan.

Published in Dawn, July 23rd, 2020

Opinion

Israeli flashpoint
Updated 12 May 2021

Israeli flashpoint

There are persistent reports from the US suggesting that the mood over unquestioning backing for Israel is shifting.
Blaming envoys for the mess
Updated 12 May 2021

Blaming envoys for the mess

The prime minister appeared to be using his container approach in the realm of foreign policy.
No entry, no Eid
12 May 2021

No entry, no Eid

On this Eid, amid this mess, many chairs at muted celebratory meals will remain empty.
Election night confusion
Updated 11 May 2021

Election night confusion

Poll manipulation in Pakistan occurs in the run-up to elections and on election day itself.

Editorial

PM’s Saudi visit
Updated 12 May 2021

PM’s Saudi visit

It is very important that Pakistan take no step, or agree to any demand, that can have an adverse effect on national sovereignty.
12 May 2021

A new intifada?

THE situation in the occupied territories over the past few days has been incendiary, with tensions boiling over as...
Updated 12 May 2021

SOP violations

ON Monday, Sindh Police officials were given a well-deserved slap on the wrist by a judicial magistrate in Karachi...
11 May 2021

Kabul massacre

AFGHANISTAN is a land that has seen plenty of massacres during decades of unrest. However, despite this almost...
Divisive move
Updated 11 May 2021

Divisive move

The whole point of these reforms is to ensure that all major political stakeholders are on board, and that there is a consensus.
11 May 2021

Bank loan concerns

THE combined gross non-performing loan portfolio of the country’s banks and DFIs increased marginally by 2.6pc or...