Lahore: The targeting of religious minorities has been continuing in Pakistan under blasphemy as a large number of innocent persons who have lost their lives, homes and their terrorized families dispersed, according to media reports.

According to A Canada-based thinktank, International Forum for Rights and Security (IFFRAS), the mixing of state and religion in Pakistan has provided a dangerous cocktail for Pakistan's population and the blasphemy laws are taking their toll on the people of the country.

Recently a Christian mechanic booked on the charges of blasphemy was sentenced to death by a Lahore court earlier this month. Masih has been in jail since 2017 and his case riddled with adjournments. The accused, who has a wife and a daughter, also lost his mother in 2019 while he was behind the bars.

This is not the first time a judge in Pakistan has sentenced someone to death under the blasphemy law. In September 2021, a local Lahore court sentenced a school principal to death. The charge against the principal was that she had claimed to be the 'Prophet of Islam' in pamphlets she distributed and denied the finality of Prophethood.

In yet another incident in January this year, a 26-year-old woman was sentenced to death for posting 'blasphemous material' as her WhatsApp status. She had sent caricatures of Prophet Muhammed.

In April, a woman teacher at a girls' seminary in Dera Ismail Khan was killed by three of her female colleagues after the relative of one of the killers had a dream that the teacher had committed blasphemy after which the killers were ordered to slaughter her.

The victim, Safoora Bibi, aged 21 was killed by three of her students at Jamia Islamia Falah Al-Banat, situated in the Anjumabad area on Dera Multan Road, at around 7 am. The students accused of carrying out the fatal attack have been arrested.

Pakistan inherited the blasphemy laws after Partition in 1947. However, during General Zia-ul Haq's regime between 1980 to 1986, a number of clauses were introduced that included a provision to punish blasphemy against Prophet Muhammed and the penalty for this was "death, or imprisonment for life". It has been used in these cases of death sentences.

The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) has said that Muslims constitute the majority of people booked under the blasphemy laws, followed by the Ahmadi community. According to data by the National Commission for Justice and Peace, 776 Muslims, 505 Ahmadis, 229 Christians and 30 Hindus have been booked under the blasphemy law from 1987 to 2018.