A Pakistani officer has killed a man with a cleaver over charges of blasphemy, police said on Saturday. He killed the man, Waqas Ahmed, years after the court acquitted the victim of the charges. Ahmed posted the offending statements about the prophet Mohammed on Facebook in 2016.
The policeman, Abdul Qadir, did not agree with the verdict and attacked Ahmed on Friday in the city of Rahim Yar Khan, in the Punjab province. “He had been planning to kill him since 2016 over allegations that he disrespected the prophet Mohammed,” police officer Rana Muhammad Ashraf told AFP.
A police spokesman confirmed the incident, adding that the victim’s brother was also injured in the attack. “The officer voluntarily surrendered himself to the police,” the police said. The attacker and the victims belong to the same tribe and live in the same village. It is being investigated whether they had any personal enmity.
Blasphemy is a very sensitive subject in ultra-conservative Pakistan where people can face the death penalty for insulting Islam or Islamic figures. Accusations of blasphemy alone are explosive and often lead to furious protests in the Islamic republic.
The country’s strict blasphemy laws are also being used against religious minorities, including the Christian community. Critics argue that they are often misused to settle personal scores.
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