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Pak parties protest amendment

Pakistan’s religious parties have staged one of the country’s biggest rallies in Lahore to protest against amendment to the blasphemy law.

The main opposition religious party Jamat-e-Islami, along with seven other parties, including Pakistan Muslim League and the banned Jamat-ud-dawa, held the demonstrations on Sunday, a Press TV correspondent reported.

This comes despite repeated assurances by Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani that the blasphemy law would not be changed in a bid to gain the confidence of people.

The protesters slammed the Western countries for pressuring Pakistan’s government to abolish the law.

The demonstrators also criticized Pope Benedict XVI for joining the West in the propaganda against the Muslim state.

The controversial amendment of blasphemy law came into consideration when Asia Bibi, a Christian woman, got a death sentence in a Lahore court for insulting Prophet Mohammad.

In December, a draft bill that was aimed at amending the law was discussed in Pakistan’s lower house of parliament. The bill sought to abolish the death penalty for blasphemy charges.

The situation was aggravated when former Governor of Punjab Salman Taseer was shot dead by his own security guard for what the attacker called negative remarks against Prophet Mohammad.

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