For those liberals who have followed the life of Imran Khan and his desire to build political change in Pakistan, the latest comments come as a blow and show how twisted politics has become in the country when pandering to religious zealotry has to take place, to even have a chance to come to power.
Enter this speech by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Ensaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan. Standing in front of a crowd of men, he makes clear his support for Section 295C of the Pakistan Penal Code. This section in effect support the charge of blasphemy that can be made against people who use derogatory remarks whether spoken or written or when made directly or indirectly. For example, these could be perceived to be against Islam. The key here is that perception is slotted into the law and this section was used to make the case against Christian Asia Bibi, who still languishes inside jail in Pakistan.
The change in the direction of the PTI Chairman shows that he is pandering to the religious right and to zealots to secure his support. It is truly an abysmal state of affairs when the best hope for Pakistan, has decided to take this turn. No doubt, Ahmadis globally, will lament once again, as these blasphemy laws underpin the attacks against them and their human rights.
Zia is alive and kicking! PTI Chairman Imran Khan says he fully supports Section 295-C (blasphemy law) and will defend it. Say hello to the new Mard-e-Momin, Mard-e-Haq! pic.twitter.com/gP86kusYOq
— Bilal Farooqi (@bilalfqi) July 7, 2018