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Pakistani president may favor change in blasphemy law

Catholic World News - December 15, 2010

Pakistan’s President Asif Ali Zardari would favor a change in the nation’s notorious blasphemy law, according to a local legislator who pressed Zardari on the issue.

At a press conference convened by foes of the law, Pitambar Sewani, a member of the Sindh Assembly, reported that he had questioned the president on the topic, and Zardari indicated that he was open to amending the law.

The blasphemy law in Pakistan has been condemned by Church leaders and human-rights activists because it can be exploited as a means of intimidating religious minorities. The law has come under renewed criticism because of the death sentence handed down in the case of Asia Bibi, a young mother who was convicted—wrongly, according to a government investigator—of insulting Islam. Militant Muslims oppose any effort to soften the law.

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