Fazal Abbas was 45 years old. In 2004 he attended a demonstration and had been denounced for offending the prophet. He had fled abroad and had recently returned to Pakistan to face trial. Between 1987 and 2015, at least 62 people were assassinated for alleged blasphemy.
Sialkot (AsiaNews) - Three Pakistani sisters have confessed to shooting and killing a man accused of blasphemy 13 years ago. The victim, Fazal Abbas, 45, of a Shiite confession, was shot dead by one of the three women who had been introduced to his house with an excuse.
While investigations are still underway, the assassins were transferred to the district prison in Sialkot, Punjab province. According to information gathered by local police, the three sisters were instigated by Maulavi Muhamamd Shafiq Dogar, the imam of the mosque of Pasrur, the town where the latest attack perpetrated on religious grounds took place on mere suspicion of having offended the prophet.
The assassination occurred yesterday evening. Syed Azhar Husain Shamsi, uncle of the victim, said that women - Amna, Afshan and Razia Bibi - covered by the traditional Islamic veil, came to Abbas's house pretending to be relatives. At the sight of the man, one of them pulled out a gun from beneath her veil and shot him dead.
The women confessed that they wanted to kill the alleged blasphemer for years, since he was indicted in 2004 for insulting Islam, but at the time of the case were "too young". "We finally killed the blasphemer. Allah is great, "they told the police gathering their confession.
In March 2004, Abbas participated in a procession in the city of Pasrur. After that incident, Imam Dogar filed a complaint against the man who, in order to escape arrest, fled to Denmark and gained Danish nationality. But the accusation of blasphemy persecuted him throughout his exile. For this reason, he had recently decided to return to Pakistan and face the trial after the local court had granted him bail.
Abbas's murder is just the latest in a long and bloody series carried out in Pakistan in the name of alleged blasphemy. The last case that caused great shock was the lynching of Mashal Khan, the student of Mardan University who was tortured to death by his fellow students, all under the watchful eye of the phones filming the scene. Prior to him, at least another 62 people were killed between 1987 and 2015, including former Punjab ruler Salman Taseer, punished for criticizing the "black law" on blasphemy and defending Asia Bibi, the Christian mother who has spent seven years on death row awaiting trial. Just yesterday, on the wave of disdain over the student’s assassination, the lawyer announced that Asia’s trial could resume shortly, perhaps in June.