Monday, August 8, 2022

Pakistan government’s new proposal exempts Punjab prisoners from memorizing Bhagavad Gita and Bible

Pakistan Punjab New Rules for Minority Prisoners: The newly appointed government in Pakistan’s Punjab province has proposed to reduce the sentences of prisoners from minority communities for memorizing the holy scriptures. The home department of Punjab province on Thursday sent a ‘summary’ to Chief Minister Chaudhary Parvez Elahi, demanding that Christian, Hindu and Sikh prisoners lodged in jails in the province waive their sentences of three to six months.

Talking to the media on Friday, a senior official said, “Punjab government’s home department has proposed to give three to six months relaxation in sentence to Christian and Hindu prisoners for memorizing their holy books – Bible and Bhagavad. Gita. A ‘summary’ has been sent to the Chief Minister for this. According to the official website of the Punjab Prison Service, Muslim prisoners who recite the Holy Quran can get a pardon between six months and two years of their sentence.

A summary will be sent to Cabinet for approval
After approval of the Chief Minister, this summary will be sent to the Cabinet for approval, the official said. After this, the Home Department will issue a notification regarding the reduction of the sentence of Hindu and Christian prisoners. He said that this initiative would motivate the prisoners belonging to minority communities to study their holy scriptures.

A petition was filed by a Christian prisoner
In March, the Lahore High Court had sought a report from the Punjab government on the relaxation of sentences of minority prisoners. A Christian petitioner cited the exemption granted to Muslims under Rule 215 of the Pakistan Prisons Rules, 1978, and requested similar exemptions for prisoners of other religions. According to official estimates, there are currently 1,188 minority prisoners, including Christians, Hindus and Sikhs, in 34 prisons in Punjab province.

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