Act against those who hurt Hindus’ religious sentiments: Pakistan speaker to minister

The directive came on Wednesday after a picture of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan depicted as a Hindu god was doing the rounds on social media.

world Updated: Apr 12, 2018 17:38 IST
Imtiaz Ahmad
Imtiaz Ahmad
Hindustan Times, Islamabad
Hindus in Pakistan,Hindu minority,Pakistan
A Hindu devotee holds her palms together as she prays at a temple in Karachi. A caricature depicting Imran Khan as Lord Shiva was raised in Parliament by lawmaker Ramesh Lal.(Reuters File Photo)

Pakistan's parliamentary speaker has directed authorities to crack down on elements involved in blasphemous material about the Hindu religion after Hindu lawmakers protested about a caricature that portrayed cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan as Lord Shiva.

National Assembly Speaker Ayaz Sadiq took notice of the image shared on social media that depicted Pakistan Tehreek-e- Insaf (PTI) chairman Khan as the Hindu god. Hindu MPs said the caricature was first posted on social media by supporters of ousted premier Nawaz Sharif's PML-N party.

The issue was raised in Parliament on Wednesday through a point of order by Pakistan People’s Party lawmaker Ramesh Lal, who presented a copy of the blasphemous image.

In response, Sadiq directed the interior ministry to crack down on any individual or group posting such blasphemous material about the Hindu religion.

Ramesh Lal told Parliament that such offences were covered by cyber laws and should not go unpunished.

Another parliamentarian, Lal Chand Malhi of the PTI, said there was evidence of a malicious online campaign targeting the Hindu community and desecrating images revered by millions of Pakistani Hindus.

The Speaker also directed the minister of state for interior Tallal Chaudhry to complete the inquiry within seven days and to lodge a case against the culprits through the Federal Investigation Agency.

First Published: Apr 12, 2018 14:21 IST