Pakistan police arrest Christian in hiding for ‘blasphemy’

Pakistani police say they have arrested a Christian man who went into hiding after being accused of committing blasphemy. Qaisar Ayub was arrested in the eastern city of Lahore and is being held in a police station in Talagang town, where a case was registered against him three years ago. Ayub, who in his 40s, was accused of posting blasphemous messages on a Christian website that he was moderating. The police said the accused, a computer science graduate, went into hiding after the case was filed against him.

In 2011, a local resident of Talagang filed an application with the police accusing Ayub of using derogatory language against the prophet of Islam on his website.

Local police officer Khurram Hussain

Blasphemy is a hugely sensitive issue in Pakistan, with even unproven allegations often prompting mob retribution. Those who take part in violent attacks are rarely if ever prosecuted. On November 4, a Christian bonded labourer and his pregnant wife were beaten by a mob of 1,500 people then thrown on top of a lit furnace in a crazed reaction to rumours they had thrown pages of the Koran into the garbage. The horrific incident sparked outrage and protests across Pakistan. Police have arrested more than 40 suspects.