Islamabad: A parliamentary panel in Pakistan today recommended that anyone falsely accusing someone of blasphemy should be subjected to the same level of punishment as a person who has been convicted of blasphemy.
The Senate Special Committee on Human Rights drafted proposals after several reports about the alleged misuse of blasphemy laws in the country.
“Anyone falsely accusing someone of blasphemy should be subjected to the same punishment as a person convicted of blasphemy,” the committee said in draft recommendations.
Blasphemy laws were introduced by former military dictator Zia-ul Haq in 1980s and the maximum punishment under the laws is death sentence.
The laws do not provide punishment for false accusation but the same is given in Pakistan Penal Code, which is maximum six months sentence or a fine of Rs 1,000.
The committee also suggested that a person interested to register a blasphemy case at a police station should have to bring two witnesses in support of his charges.
Earlier, the Islamabad High Court in October had suggested parliament to enhance punishment for those who misuse the blasphemy laws.
The Interior Ministry last month submitted a draft of proposed amendments to the Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act 2016, that recommended that punishments for a false accusation of blasphemy should be same as the punishment for actually committing blasphemy.
Blasphemy is considered as highly sensitive issue in Pakistan and those accused of it become easy victims of extremists groups. PTI