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Chinese language nationwide arrested on blasphemy costs in Pakistan Lalrp

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PESHAWAR, Pakistan — Pakistani police arrested a Chinese language nationwide on blasphemy costs after he allegedly insulted Islam and the Prophet Muhammad, authorities mentioned Monday. Below Pakistan’s controversial blasphemy legal guidelines, the offense carries the loss of life penalty.

Police recognized the person solely as Mr. Tian from China and mentioned he was arrested on Sunday evening, hours after lots of of residents and laborers engaged on a dam mission blocked a key freeway and rallied to demand his arrest.

The rally happened within the city of Komela — positioned near

the location of the Dasu Dam, the most important hydropower mission in Pakistan — in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, which borders Afghanistan, based on native police chief Naseer Khan.

Khan mentioned officers shortly responded to the protests by “rescuing and arresting” the Chinese language nationwide. In keeping with Khan, the accusations arose from a office disagreement: Tian allegedly grew to become upset and reprimanded two native drivers for taking an excessive amount of time from work to hope. Different laborers then claimed he had insulted the prophet.

Police mentioned Tian, who was in control of heavy transport on the mission, shall be tried beneath blasphemy legal guidelines if investigators show he insulted Islam. There was no rapid remark from the Chinese language Embassy in Islamabad.

The blocked freeway later reopened to visitors and work resumed on the Dasu Dam, which has scores of Chinese language and lots of of Pakistanis engaged on the mission, Khan mentioned.

Mob assaults on folks accused of blasphemy and even lynching assaults are widespread in Pakistan, a conservative Muslim nation. Rights teams say blasphemy accusations have typically been used to intimidate non secular minorities and settle private scores.

Movies circulating on social media confirmed an offended mob demonstrating outdoors a sprawling compound housing Chinese language and Pakistani development employees in Komela. The demonstrators might be heard chanting “God is nice” as safety forces hearth photographs within the air to disperse the crowds.

Though arrests of Muslims and non-Muslims on costs of blasphemy are widespread in Pakistan, foreigners are not often amongst these arrested.

In 2021, nonetheless, a mob lynched a Sri Lankan man at a sports activities manufacturing facility in jap Punjab province and later burned his physique in public over allegations he desecrated posters bearing the identify of the Prophet Muhammad.

In July 2021, work on the Dasu Dam was suspended for a number of months following a lethal suicide assault focusing on a bus carrying Chinese language and Pakistani nationals in Kohistan district, the place the dam is positioned. The bombing killed 13 folks, together with 9 Chinese language nationals.

The Chinese language resumed work on the mission final yr, when Pakistan enhanced safety. Pakistani and Chinese language engineers are attempting to finish the mission by 2026.

Monday’s developments got here days after Punjab police arrested a Muslim girl on costs of blasphemy after she allegedly claimed she was an Islamic prophet. She was taken into custody from her house after a mob had gathered outdoors demanding that she be lynched after information unfold of her alleged claims of prophethood.

In the meantime, a mob of Sunni Muslims demolished a minaret at a mosque belonging to the minority Ahmadis in Sargodha district in Punjab, the minority’s spokesman mentioned.

There are about half 1,000,000 of Ahmadis in Pakistan, which has a inhabitants of 220 million. Pakistan declared Ahmadis non-Muslims in 1974. Ahmadi properties and locations of worship are sometimes focused by Sunni militants who take into account them heretics.

Amir Mahmood, a spokesman for the Ahmadi group, mentioned the assault occurred in a single day and allegedly within the presence of police. There was no rapid remark from the police.

Related Press author Munir Ahmed in Islamabad contributed to this story.