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Pakistan Minister condemns Swat lynching, says faith being weaponised to justify ‘street justice’


Pakistan Minister Ahsan Iqbal. File.
| Photo Credit: AP

Pakistan’s Planning Minister Ahsan Iqbal on June 22 condemned the lynching of a person within the city of Swat for allegedly committing desecration of the Koran, lamenting how faith is being weaponised to justify “street justice” and “vigilantism”.

The ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) chief, whereas talking throughout the Budget debate within the National Assembly, mentioned that parliament needed to take stern discover of “mob justice”, because it had introduced Pakistan “to the brink of destruction”, the Dawn newspaper reported.

On Thursday evening, an enraged mob within the picturesque Pakistani city of Swat gunned down a vacationer, dragged him via the city and later hanged him in full public view for allegedly committing desecration of the Quran.

Muhammad Ismail, a 40-year-old resident of Sialkot in Punjab province, was visiting the northwestern Pakistan hill resort city of Swat and was accused of getting burnt the pages of Islam’s holy guide in Madyan tehsil of Swat district in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.

Amid interruptions by Deputy Speaker Ghulam Mustafa Shah of the Pakistan Peoples Party, Iqbal mentioned, “Another mob lynching has happened in Swat and Pakistan is under scrutiny for it.” The 65-year-old secretary normal of the PML-N additional mentioned that if this was an remoted incident “we could move past it”. However, Iqbal then referred to related incidents that occurred earlier in Sialkot, Jaranwala and Sargodha the place these accused of desecration have been lynched by vigilante mobs.

The Minister additionally recalled an try on his life in 2018 when he was shot by a supporter of the religio-political social gathering Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan. Iqbal mentioned he was grateful that he acquired a brand new lease of life after an extremist shot him.

“We must take notice of this incident as our nation is on the brink. We have now reached a point where we are using religion to justify mob violence and street justice, flagrantly violating the Constitution, the law and the state,” Iqbal mentioned.

In Islam “even the bodies of heretics must be shown respect”, he mentioned.

“Not only are mobs killing people, but they are setting the bodies on fire and making a spectacle out of it. It’s shameful,” he mentioned.

Mr. Iqbal additionally demanded {that a} committee be fashioned to probe these incidents of mob assaults.

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