Pakistan police file blasphemy case over temple attack
KARACHI (AFP) - Pakistani police said on Sunday that they had opened a rare blasphemy case against nine people who attacked and looted a Hindu temple in Karachi during recent anti-United States (US) protests.
Blasphemy is hugely sensitive in Pakistan, where 97 per cent of the population is Muslim, and allegations of insulting Islam or the Prophet Mohammed prompt fury. Blasphemy can result in life imprisonment or the death penalty.
However it is unusual for Muslims to be charged under the legislation and nobody in Pakistan has ever been prosecuted for attacking a minority place of worship, although attacks on churches and temples are common.
"A case under the blasphemy law has been registered against nine people for ransacking a Hindu temple and looting gold ornaments from there in Gadap Town neighbourhood on Sept 21," local police station chief Jaffar Baloch told AFP. The accused, all men, were at large and police were searching for them, he said.