Watch | What is the History of Pakistan’s Blasphemy Law?

Last week, a man accused of blasphemy was brutally lynched by a mob. The Wire's Zeeshan Kaskar spoke to Pakistani scholar Khalid Zaheer about the blasphemy law.

Last week, a disturbing video surfaced from Pakistan, in which a man named Muhammad Waris was thrashed to death by a violent mob. The mob also set fire to his dead body. Waris was accused of blasphemy. This incident took place on February 11 in Nanak Sahib in the Punjab province of Pakistan.
Waris was accused of desecrating the pages of Quran and was detained.

Police spokesman Waqas Khalid told AFP that “an angry mob stormed the police station using wooden ladders, dragged Waris outside and beat him to death.” “Even after lynching they were not satisfied and tried to burn his body.”

From 1987 to 2018, 776 Muslims, 505 Ahmadis, 229 Christians and 30 Hindus were accused of blasphemy.

Blasphemy law is not a creation of the legislature of Pakistan. Articles 295 and 295A are a legacy of British rule. From 1980 to 1986, the law was amended under the regime of General Zia ul Haq to include punishment for blasphemy or insulting the feelings of Muslims.

To explain these things in detail, we talked to Pakistani scholar Dr Khalid Zaheer. Watch this video to understand the full story.