Pakistan’s blasphemy law is in the spotlight once again – following the assassination of Salman Taseer last week. The governor of Punjab was gunned down for supporting proposed reforms to the law – which says anyone who is convicted of speaking ill of Islam faces the death penalty.
Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, the chairman of Pakistan People’s Party, vowed to continue Taseer’s mission. And now Pope Benedict XVI has stepped into the row, calling for the law’s repeal. But inside the country, its supporters have been taking to the streets.
Inside Story, with presenter James Bays, discusses the ongoing controversy over the blasphemy law in Pakistan.
Is this law being misused? And is the conservative religious base taking over in this troubled country?
Joining us on the programme are Zafar Jaspal, a political analyst and professor of international relations at Qaid-i-Azam University, and Omar Waraich, the Islamabad-based correspondent for the UK’s newspaper The Independent.
This episode of Inside Story aired from Tuesday, January 11, 2011.