Pakistan Arrests “11th Imam of Islam” Under Stringent Blasphemy Laws

Blasphemy Laws in Pakistan are considered as one of the worlds deadliest laws. The police in Pakistan’s Punjab province arrested a cleric, who claimed himself to be the 11th Imam of Islam and booked him under the highly controversial blasphemy charges.

The Punjab police charged Farhan Ahmed, in his late 40s, with blasphemy, after a video, in which he claimed himself to be the 11th Imam of Islam went viral on social media. Ahmed is a resident of Sahiwal, about 200-km from Lahore.

Blasphemy Laws in Pakistan

Blasphemy Laws in Pakistan are one the most stringent laws in the world and carry a possible death sentence to anyone who insults Islam or the Prophet. The British Era Blasphemy Laws in Pakistan continues to be the hallmark of the human rights violations in Pakistan, as it has been widely misused against the minority communities and fellow Muslims, who take up a compassionate stance.

According to police, an FIR has been registered against Ahmed under section 295-A of the Pakistan Penal Code and section 16 of the Maintenance of Public Order. The police said Ahmed told his followers that Sufi saints had already foretold about his “appearance”.

“The prime minister and the army chief should swear their allegiance to me,” said Ahmed, who was flanked by his disciples in the video. He also claimed that he was the guardian of the appearance of Imam Mahdi. He invited the youth of Pakistan to join him, urging them to take the oath of allegiance to him.

The Punjab police are also investigating whether he made this claim because of any mental impairment. Police also recorded the statements of some of his followers.

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