Sunday July 14, 2024

Planning minister proposes to form committee to investigate lynching incidents

Ahsan Iqbal says religion's name being misused to violate law and Constitution

By Web Desk
June 22, 2024
Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Ahsan Iqbal addressing National Assembly in Islamabad on June 22, 2024. —Screengrab/ PTV News/ YouTube
Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Ahsan Iqbal addressing National Assembly in Islamabad on June 22, 2024. —Screengrab/ PTV News/ YouTube 

As the country deals with another tragic incident of lynching on charges of blasphemy in Swat, the Minister for Planning Ahsan Iqbal Saturday suggested forming a special committee of the National Assembly to investigate the growing cases of people beaten to death in the name of blasphemy and desecration. 

Ahsan denounced the Swat lynching while speaking on the floor of the lower house of parliament on a 'point of order' and said that the incident had damaged the nation's reputation abroad. 

“This anarchy will burn us [all], if we do not take notice of it,” he said, adding that the religion's name was being misused to violate the law and Constitution. 

On Thursday, a man was burnt to death in Swat district’s Madyan area over blasphemy allegations. The incident took place after the law enforcers had taken the suspect into custody and shifted him to the police station and later the mob took him from there and set him on fire, the district police officer (DPO) had said.

Later, the unruly group of people also torched the Madyan police station and damaged the police vehicles as well.

During his speech in the house, the planning minister said that not only the furious people lynched the man, but they also gathered to watch the body burning.

Expressing his personal experience, he said that a religious extremist made an assassination attempt on him but he was survived by the grace of Allah Almighty.

"Taking the law into one's own hands is against the spirit of Islam as well as the Constitution and law of the land,” he said.

He said it was high time to control "street justice" as it was the responsibility of the state and judiciary to administer punishment to a suspect of blasphemous actions.

Citing an incident from Islamic history, he emphasised that Islam taught respecting the dead bodies even if they are of non-Muslims, therefore, immolating any human being based on mere allegation is a violation of basic Islamic principles.

"Due to the ongoing trend of individuals acting as judge, jury, and executioner, we are far behind other nations on the global stage."

Responding to the minister, NA Deputy Speaker Syed Ghulam Mustafa Shah suggested him to take up the issue in the federal cabinet as he is also its member. He further asked him to discuss the matter with Interior Minister Mohsin Naqvi to devise a mechanism to cope with this social evil for good.

Police lodges FIR in Swat lynching incident

The police on Friday formally launched an investigation into the Madyan mob lynching incident after registering the first information report (FIR).

Regional Police Officer, Malakand Region, Mohammad Ali visited the Madyan police station, which was torched by the mob.

He also directed officials concerned to identify the people who had torched the building of the police station and the vehicles. The RPO ordered the law enforcers to ensure transparency in the investigation.

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Ali Amin Gandapur had also taken notice of the incident and directed the provincial police chief to submit a report about it.