‘Never any question of withdrawing bill’ – Sherry Rehman
According to news reports, Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gillani has said that Sherry Rehman has withdrawn her proposed bill seeking amendments to Pakistan’s blasphemy laws. Sherry Rehman clarifies:
Islamabad, 2nd February 2011: In response to the Prime Minister’s statement that she has agreed to withdraw the bill, Sherry Rehman, MNA, said that she was not consulted about this matter, and had not agreed to “withdraw” any bill, but since the PM had announced there cannot even be discussion on procedural amendments, and the committee announced by the party to amend laws has been disbanded, then as a PPP MNA she has no option but to abide by the party decision in parliament.
“There was never any question of withdrawing the bill as the Speaker had never admitted it on the agenda. Had it appeared on the agenda perhaps some of our colleagues would have understood that it was not suggesting repeal of the law, but protecting our great Prophet’s (pbuh) name against injustices done via procedures introduced by Ziaul Haq. No Pakistani citizen would expect not to protect the Prophet’s (pbuh) name.
“The changes I had submitted were simple : that innocent people be given a chance to prove their innocence like in all laws, and that cases be tried at the Higher courts, that penalties be given according to the Quran, and that no one who makes false charges in the name of a Prophet (pbuh) who swore always to defend the innocent and the vulnerable go unpunished.” — Sherry Rehman