Muslims protest against French leader’s defence of Prophet Mohammed cartoons, call for boycott
Mob attacks on people accused of blasphemy are common in the Islamic nation, although such attacks on foreigners are rare.
Blasphemy carries the death penalty in Pakistan. International and domestic rights groups say that accusations of blasphemy have often been used to intimidate religious minorities and settle personal scores.
Punjab’s chief minister Usman Buzdar said on Twitter he had ordered a probe into the killing of the Sri Lankan in Sialkot.
The Pakistani prime minister’s special adviser on religious affairs and religious harmony, Maulana Tahir Ashrafi, condemned the killing in a statement. He promised a stern punishment for those who attacked and killed the Sri Lankan.
Friday’s latest attack comes less than a week after a Muslim mob burned a police station and four police posts in northwest Pakistan after officers refused to hand over a mentally unstable man accused of desecrating Islam’s holy book, the Koran. No officers were hurt in the attacks in Charsadda, a district in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.
Pakistan’s government has been under pressure for decades to change the country’s blasphemy laws. However, Islamists in the country have strongly resisted such demands.
A Punjab governor in Islamabad was shot and killed by his own guard in 2011, after he defended a Christian woman, Aasia Bibi, who was accused of blasphemy. She was acquitted after spending eight years on death row and, receiving threats, left Pakistan for Canada to join her family.