The recent vicious incident in Bahawalpur, Pakistan, where a person was set on fire by the public and later died, shows the intolerant social order of the country, especially when it comes to blasphemy. It should be noted that the victim was later found to be mentally ill.
The incident was followed by two others in Karachi and Quetta, clearly showing the helplessness of the law enforcement agencies and the judicial system in the country.
"They were demanding that we kill him in front of them, or they'll take him away and kill him themselves," police inspector BBC.told the
The most awful aspect of these incidents is that blasphemy makers turned out to be either drug addicts or mentally ill persons. Another alarming fact of the matter is the irresponsible behavior of the so-called "responsible groups’’ of the Pakistani society.
For instance, last year, when a judge gave his verdict against former Punjab Governor Salman Taseer’s killer in a blasphemy case, some religious groups and even some lawyer groups demanded the handover of the judge, but fortunately he survived, unlike the judge who was killed in his office in 1997 in a similar case.
The Punjab government has also considerably failed in order to curb the activities of the reactionary fractions, which always violate the rule of law.
The other threatening feature of the issue is that people are repeatedly taking the law in their hands. Attacking and killing of suspects have become a trend in the country. Even the law enforcing agencies are unable to stop such incidents. According to a police officer, who also was an eyewitness to Bahawalpur’s incident, "We were totally outnumbered. There were too many of them and they were hysterical. Eventually, they succeeded in taking him away.”
Such protests sometimes even include setting off fire on public properties and vehicles, turning the Pakistani society into a vicious one.