Muslims have no right to impose their conditions on Christians in Pakistan, says CLAAS over blasphemy issue

Director Nasir Saeed of the Center for Legal Aid, Assistance and Settlement (CLAAS) UK argues that local Muslims have no right to impose conditions upon Pakistani Christians forcing them to leave their village, convert to Islam, or hand over an escaped Christian boy accused of blasphemy. Saeed has condemned these acts, which CLAAS describes as "ferocious" and "tyrannical."

"No one has any right to take the law into their own hands, harass local Christians, threaten them, burn Imran alive or force Christians to convert to Islam or leave the village," Saeed said in a statement. "I cannot believe that such things are still happening in this world."

Leader of the Khatm-e-Nubuwwat Lawyers' Forum, a conservative alliance of lawyers offering free legal advice for anyone filing a blasphemy case, Ghulam Mustafa Chaudhry poses for a portrait at his office in Lahore, Pakistan February 22, 2016. Picture taken February 22. | REUTERS/MOHSIN RAZA

He urged the Pakistani government to deal with this matter seriously and according to the law and to provide protection to the local Christians. He emphasized that the conditions imposed by the local Muslims only make a mockery of the law.

"Such treatment towards Pakistani Christians is a slap on the face of the Punjab and central government, and to all those who never tire of telling the world that minorities are protected and enjoying equal rights in the country," Saeed stated.

The CLAAS director's statements refer to recent reports about the Christian villagers of Chak 44 in Mandi Bahauddin District in the Punjab province who are being harassed after a young Christian boy accused of blasphemy escaped the village.

Imran Masih, who worked at a health center, was accused on April 19 by his Muslim colleagues of watching anti-Islamic lectures of Pastor Sami Samson on YouTube. Masih denied the allegations but was beaten up and locked in a room. Luckily, Masih was rescued after he was able to contact his family through a second phone. Three days after, a Fatwa (religious decree) was issued against Imran for the charge of blasphemy entitling him to death. The news triggered Masih to run for his life, resulting in the Muslims' social boycott on the Christian villagers.