South Asia

Religious violence erupts in Pakistan following blasphemy allegations

A Muslim crowd attacked a Christian community in eastern Pakistan on Wednesday, vandalizing several churches and setting numerous houses ablaze. The attack was prompted by allegations that two Christian members had desecrated the Quran, according to both local police and community leaders.

The incident occurred in Jaranwala, situated in the industrial district of Faisalabad. The accused Christians, facing accusations of blasphemy, fled their homes along with their families to escape the escalating situation.

The police’s case against the two individuals revolves around the discovery of Quran pages bearing derogatory remarks written in red. In Pakistan, blasphemy is considered a capital offense, although no executions have been carried out for such charges. However, several accused individuals have been victims of mob violence and lynching.

Caretaker Prime Minister Anwar ul Haq Kakar has called for stringent action against those responsible for the violent events on Wednesday. A government source has indicated that local clerics, primarily affiliated with the Islamist political party Tehreek-e-Labaik Pakistan (TLP), allegedly led the mob and instigated the violence. The TLP has refuted these allegations.