LAHORE - The Concerned Citizens of Pakistan (CCP) has condemned the savage behaviour of those criminals who recently killed 12 Hazaras in cold blood, and the barbaric conduct of self-styled religious leader Jadoon who committed perjury by fabricating evidence in Rimsha Masih’s case.

In a press statement issued on Wednesday, CCP President Nasira Javid Iqbal said such appalling acts of extremism and terrorism must be curbed by awarding exemplary punishments to those proved guilty.

She noted that there had been repeated merciless killings of Hazaras but no one has yet been brought to book. “Such criminal negligence on the part of law enforcement authorities is tearing asunder the very fabric of our society. It merits serious attention and action by all the organs of the state,” she maintained.

She said the CCP believed that Jadoon and others who accuse vulnerable groups of blasphemy for ulterior motives or because of their own ignorance of Islamic precepts should be awarded maximum punishment under section 295-C of the PPC. They are truly guilty of blasphemy and not just of fabricating evidence. Strict deterrent punishment may succeed in preventing other miscreants from such appalling acts perpetrated in the name of religion, she added. Giving background of the incident, she said police arrested Imam Khalid Jadoon who accused Rimsha Masih of committing blasphemy by burning pages of the Holy Quran. Hafiz Zubair, an eyewitness, stated before the magistrate that Khalid added pages of the Holy Quran to the burnt material saying this would strengthen the blasphemy case against Rimsha, a mentally challenged child of about 12 years old.

“This devious scheme was carried out to occupy the properties of Christians. Rimsha’s family and other Christians have fled their homes because of fear of reprisals,” Nasir concluded.