The Punjab Assembly has passed the Punjab Tahaffuze Bunyade Islam Bill 2020, which Law Minister Raja Basharat says will prevent blasphemy of Holy Prophets (AS), Companions (RA) of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), Ahle Bait (RA) and Umhatul Momineen (RA).
According to the minister, it will also prevent blasphemy of holy figures of other religions and the holy personalities of all religions beside helping to eradicate sectarianism and religious hatred.
The printing and publication of objectionable material have been prohibited under the bill that also bars publishers, editors or translators from printing or publishing any books and material that consists of photographs or pictures of suicide bombers, terrorists, except as required by law enforcing agencies for purposes of investigation.
Moreover, the new law has also made it mandatory that “the blessed name of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) be preceded by the title Khataman Nabiyyin or Khatamun Nabiyyin followed by ‘Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam’ in Arabic text”.
The law has also empowered Directorate General Public Relations (DGPR) to visit and inspect the premises of printing presses, offices of publication houses and book stores.
After the passage of the bill in the Punjab Assembly, Speaker Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi said it was a historic one. “I am highly thankful to Almighty Allah on its passage. This bill will prove a milestone in the protection of Islam and its supremacy. The federation and provinces should follow us in this regard. A similar one should also be passed by Centre and all provinces, and enforced all over Pakistan. The Section Number 3/F of this bill should be Article 295 of Pakistan Penal Code 1860,” the speaker said.
He also thanked National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser for taking personal interest in this matter while praising Hafiz Ammar Yasir as well as Opposition Leader Hamza Shehbaz among other provincial lawmakers who played their full role in the passage of the bill.