UNPACKING THE BLASPHEMY LAWS OF PAKISTAN; Recent Developments in Religious Freedom in South Asia

Over the years, Pakistan’s notorious blasphemy laws have been a central instrument for the persecution of religious minorities. While these laws are colonial in origin, they exist today within the context of a general Islamisation of laws, which combined with the state’s inability to hold a monopoly over violence have contributed to growing anarchy in the country. This paper traces the evolution of Pakistan’s religious nationalism, presents debates around the blasphemy laws and their implementation, and considers the possibilities for reform.

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