Protests are scheduled to be held in 12 cities across the country following the lynching of a 15-year-old on suspicions of carrying beef.
The combination of a government-backed legal crackdown on religious speech and vigilante justice is creating a toxic mix of violent suppression.
Over 50% of those charged with blasphemy belong to minority communities, who form less than 4% of Pakistan’s population.
The lynching of 25-year-old student Mashal Khan, another example of abuse of the country’s blasphemy law, is being seen as an opportunity to revive the debate on revising the law.
In the second such killing over blasphemy in a week police say that one of the women acted as an instigator, persuading the other two to carry out the act.
The clerics under hate speech investigation attempted to disrupt the funeral of Mashal Khan, the student who was beaten to death on his university campus.
Over the last decades, simply accusing someone of ‘blasphemy’ has proved enough to trigger a vigilante death sentence. Obviously, Pakistan has not got to this situation overnight.
Ten students have been arrested after Thursday’s attack the grounds of a university in the northern city of Mardan.