Balochs in US condemn arrest of Hindu man in Pakistan

Members of the Hindu and Baloch communities in the US have strongly condemned the arrest of a 35-year-old Hindu man in Pakistan over alleged blasphemy and sought intervention of the State Department. Prakash Kumar, a crockery shop owner, was arrested in the Hub area of southwestern Balochistan province on Wednesday for allegedly sending blasphemous content through WhatsApp after police’s timely intervention saved him from being lynched by a mob.

“Pakistan’s archaic blasphemy laws have been used to charge and imprison over a thousand people since the laws were incorporated into the Constitution in 1986, while extremists have used the provisions as a pretext and justification to routinely attack religious minorities and other Pakistani citizens,” said Samir Kalra, HAF’s senior director and Human Rights fellow.

Media relations director of the America Friends of Baloch Jane E Weisner said targeting members of minority community on a blasphemy charge had been unknown in Balochistan while it was a common practice in the army stronghold of Punjab.

“But the arrest of Kumar and mob violence on Thursday in the town of Hub shows that the Pakistan army and intelligence services that call the shots in Balochistan are bent upon drowning the genuine freedom aspirations of the Baloch people through sectarian tactics,” he alleged. via

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