A file photo shows people destroying the belongings of a man after allegations of blasphemy in Lahore, Pakistan, 09 March 2013. EFE-EPA/File/RAHAT DAR

Chinese engineer arrested in Pakistan over ‘blasphemy’

Islamabad, Apr 17 (EFE).- A Chinese man who works at a hydropower project was arrested over blasphemy allegations from the northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province on Monday, police said.

Police have filed a case against the suspect identified as Tian under a law that carries death penalty or life imprisonment for insulting Prophet Muhammed – Islam’s most revered figure.

Tian also faces terrorism charges and if could be sentenced to life if proven guilty.

“Tian was arrested around 2 am on Monday after protests all over Kohistan district (in the province) continued on Sunday,” police officer Naseer Uddin told EFE.

The police officer said a group of youth had gathered to attack him for making alleged blasphemous remarks during a heated argument wit his colleagues at the workplace over the weekend.

“He said some blasphemous remarks about Allah and Prophet Muhammed during a heated argument with his co-workers on Saturday,” Naseen Uddin told EFE.

According to him, Tian, 48, is an employee of China Gezhouba Group Company.

Blasphemy is an offence in Pakistan carrying the death penalty but no one has ever been executed for insulting the Islam.

The harsh Pakistani anti-blasphemy law was enforced in the British colonial era.

The then-dictator, Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq, reformed the law in the 1980s.

Since then, there have been nearly a thousand accusations for blasphemy.

In December 2021, a violent Pakistani mob lynched a Sri Lankan-origin man and set his body on fire in the northeastern city of Sialkot, for alleged blasphemy.

The incident was severely criticized by international organizations and the Sri Lankan government. EFE