By Dan Wooding
Founder of ASSIST Ministries
ISLAMABAD, PAKISTAN (ANS) -- A high-powered team investigating the Rimsha Masih “blasphemy” case has found the cleric of a mosque should face trial, and has declared Rimsha as innocent due to lack of evidence.
Rimsha being rushed to helicopter
A Christian, Rimsha, believed to be around 14 years of age and reportedly suffering from some mental disability, was allegedly seen burning pages inscribed with Koranic verses, last month.
The news of the desecration spread like wild fire, following which furious locals bashed up Rimsha and her mother. The police later arrested Rimsha on August 16 on the demand of the locals. Rimsha languished in judicial custody for weeks, after which she was released and transferred by helicopter to an undisclosed location.
The case took a new turn when a witness said in his statement before the police that the Chishti had added some burnt pages of the Holy Koran to execute his plan to expel the Christian community from the locality, police sources said.
Two other witnesses confirmed the statement, police sources said.
“According to the interim charge sheet presented in the court by the Police, Rimsha Masih the 14 year old Christian girl accused of blasphemy is innocent and the Imam, or prayer leader [Khalid Jadoon Chishti], who allegedly framed her should face trial,” said a story in The News, Pakistan (www.thenews.com.pk).
The accused cleric
“The investigating officer in the case, Munir Jaffry told a foreign news agency that he had informed the court that no evidence could be found against Rimsha Masih and that she was framed by the Imam of the local mosque.”
Jaffry is reported to have said, “We have also told the court that there are witnesses and evidence against the local Imam for framing a false blasphemy case against Rimsha.”
Judge Ghullam Abbas Shah had adjourned the hearing of the case until Monday and, during that, it will be decided if the Imam should face trial.
The big question now is, once Rimsha has been released, will she and her family will be safe as Pakistan has seen a string of extra-judicial killings of Christians who had been charged with blasphemy, or supported those who were charged.