See More on Facebook

Curiosity, Politics

Imran Khan delivers warning to religious groups

Pakistan premier Imran Khan warns off religious group after supreme court rules on high profile blasphemy case.


Written by

Updated: November 1, 2018

Prime Minister Imran Khan on Wednesday issued a stark warning to religiopolitical groups that have been agitating against the Supreme Court verdict to acquit Asia Bibi, a Christian woman sentenced to death on charges of committing blasphemy.

The premier addressed the matter in a short video message that solely focused on the Asia Bibi verdict and its aftermath. The message was broadcast on state-run PTV.

He said he had been “compelled” to communicate with the nation due to the reaction given and language used by a “small segment” in response to the SC verdict.

Pakistan was founded “in the name of Islam” and the verdict given by the SC is in accordance with the Constitution, which is in line with the teachings of the Holy Quran and sunnah, he said.

He sharply criticised the protests that broke out, and are still underway, across the country in response to the judgement, saying people’s livelihood was being harmed through the roadblocks and demonstrations.

The premier regretted the language used by hardliners against SC judges, the raising of questions against the army chief’s faith and the call for a rebellion amongst the armed forces.

“It is my belief that the principles on which Pakistan was founded… if they are not adhered to Pakistan has no future.

“Our faith is incomplete if we don’t love our Prophet [PBUH],” he said, and highlighted his government’s efforts to fight blasphemous content.

“Which government can function when people say that kill the judges, rebel against the army chief?

“We are already facing such tough economic hurdles. My cabinet and I have yet to take a day off… we are struggling continuously to uplift the people [and] to improve the conditions of the underprivileged.”

Referring to the protesters who have disrupted routine life across the country, he said: “If the Supreme Court does not issue a verdict according to their wishes, does that mean they will come out on the roads and paralyse the country?

“The people are to bear the brunt of this. The labourers who are reliant on daily wages… how will they feed their children?”

The prime minister urged the nation not to allow themselves to be “provoked” by the agitators.

“This is not a service being done for Islam. This is enmity taking place against the country,” Khan observed.

In a stern warning to the extremist elements, the prime minister said: “I appeal to these elements… do not clash with the state.

“I appeal to you, don’t harm this country in order to [increase your] vote bank.

“If you continue doing this… let me make it clear to you… the state will fulfil its duty [and] protect people’s properties and lives.

“We will not allow any vandalism [or] blockage of traffic.

“I appeal to you… do not take the state to a point where it has no option but to take action,” he concluded.

Prime Minister Khan’s address comes as supporters of various religiopolitical groups burnt tires and blocked roads across various parts of the country in reaction to the SC verdict.

For hours the acquittal was met with near silence on the country’s airwaves as broadcasters appeared to steer clear of covering the controversial topic.

One of the most vocal groups — the Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) — called for “mutiny” against the army’s top brass and the assassination of the top court’s justices.

Severe traffic jams ensued, causing great diffculty to commuters who reported being stuck on the roads for multiple hours.

The Punjab home department as well as the Sindh and Balochistan governments imposed Section 144 across the respective provinces citing “threats to the law and order situation, sectarian harmony and public peace”. Paramilitary troops were deployed in Islamabad to prevent protesters from reaching the Supreme Court.

Meanwhile, the Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl has announced that it will hold countrywide protests on Friday in opposition to the SC ruling.



Enjoyed this story? Share it.


Dawn
About the Author: Dawn is Pakistan's oldest and most widely read English-language newspaper.

Eastern Briefings

All you need to know about Asia


Our Eastern Briefings Newsletter presents curated stories from 22 Asian newspapers from South, Southeast and Northeast Asia.

Sign up and stay updated with the latest news.



By providing us with your email address, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

View Today's Newsletter Here

Curiosity, Politics

Taiwan among top 10 study destinations for U.S. students

Thailand and Singapore among other Asian destinations. China welcomed the highest number of U.S. students last year, followed by Japan and India in second and third places, respectively, according to a recent survey about exchange students in Asia. South Korea, Thailand, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Singapore, Taiwan, and Indonesia rounded up the top 10 list of the most popular Asian countries among U.S. students. According to AsiaExchange, “The high level of education, low exposure to crime, economic freedom and good healthcare system are a few examples of why Taiwan is ranked 2nd on the annual Global Peace Index.” It’s also very safe to live in Taiwan, as crime rates are low, the Website stressed, noting that Taiwan’s focus on human rights, gender equality and freedom of speech has made it a top destination for education. Taiwan, whose institutions are strong and reliable, has remained la


By Cod Satrusayang
December 12, 2019

Curiosity, Politics

Power transition after Apec summit

Mahathir open to stepping down after APEC summit. Dr Mahathir Mohamad, the world’s oldest prime minister, has promised to hand over power to anointed successor Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim in spite of new sexual assault allegations against him. Dr Mahathir, 94, said he would not hand over before a summit of Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) countries that Malaysia is to host in November 2020, but could be ready after that. “I made a promise to hand over and I will, accepting that I thought that a change immediately before the Apec summit would be disruptive. “As far as I’m concerned, I’m stepping down and I’m handing the baton to him (Anwar). If people don’t want him, that is their business, but I will do my part of the promise… irrespective of whatever allegation. I made my promise, I keep my promise, ” he said in an interview w


By The Star
December 11, 2019

Curiosity, Politics

Communist Party of China calls for efforts to deepen reform and expand opening-up

Political Bureau stresses importance of winning three critical battles in 2020. The Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee called on Friday for solid efforts to deepen reform and expand opening-up, amid tensions in the external environment, to ensure that the goal of building a moderately prosperous society in all respects will be attained next year. The general trend of China’s economy in maintaining stable and long-term positive operation remains unchanged, according to a statement released after the bureau’s meeting, presided over by Xi Jinping, general secretary of the CPC Central Committee. China will keep its economic growth within a reasonable range in 2020, with more “forwarding-looking, targeted and effective” policies, the statement said. The nation will pursue a policy framework that allows macro policies to be stable, micro policies


By China Daily
December 9, 2019

Curiosity, Politics

Najib to take the stand today

The former premier is accused of malfeasance. Today is the day that Malaysians will see, for the first in the country’s history, a former prime minister take the stand to answer charges against him in a court of law. Datuk Seri Najib Razak (pic), 66, will testify from the witness box as the first defence witness to rebut his seven charges of misappropriating RM42mil in SRC International Sdn Bhd funds before High Court Judge Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali. According to his co-counsel Harvinderjit Singh, Najib will be called as the first witness on the opening day of the defence’s proceedings. Najib will be first questioned by his defence during examination-in-chief before being cross-examined by the prosecution. On Nov 11, Justice Mohd Nazlan ordered Najib to enter his defence on three counts of criminal breach of trust (CBT), three charges of money laundering and on


By The Star
December 3, 2019

Curiosity, Politics

New parties face drubbing in by-elections as Nepalis continue to vote along party lines

“They failed to convince the voters as to what they would bring to the table if they were given a chance”. Nepalis once again displayed traditional voting patterns as they continued to choose the established parties—Nepal Communist Party and the Nepali Congress—while casting their ballots in Saturday’s by-election, as they snubbed newer parties like Sajha and Bibeksheel. Despite their untiring efforts, focussing primarily on Kaski Constituency-2 in a bid to get a seat in the federal Parliament, both Sajha and Bibeksheel, cut no ice with voters. Both parties have had to fight hard to even secure their deposits, as candidates must garner at least 10 percent of the total votes cast to get back their deposit; a failure to do so is considered humiliating. By-elections were held on Saturday for 52 positions, including a vacant seat in the House of Representatives, three provincial assembly seats


By The Kathmandu Post
December 2, 2019

Curiosity, Politics

Thousands return to Hong Kong streets in fresh round of protests

Police fire tear gas at those outside of approved route. After a week of relative calm, thousands of anti-government protesters took to the streets of Hong Kong on Sunday (Dec 1) chanting slogans such as “revolution of our time” and “liberate Hong Kong”. The protest, which took place in the bustling shopping district of Tsim Tsa Tsui, came after hundreds of people marched to the United States consulate earlier in the day to show “gratitude” for US support for the demonstrations that have roiled the China-ruled financial hub for nearly six months. Waving posters that read “Never forget why you started” and black flags with the logo “Revolution now”, protesters marched past the city’s Kowloon waterfront, home to luxury hotels and shopping malls. Police in riot gear were out in force for the Tsim Sha Tsui march – the third one of the day. The


By The Straits Times
December 2, 2019