47-year-old Tahir Ahmad Naseem died in the northwestern city of Peshawar on Wednesday when a member of the public walked into the courtroom and Fire opened in front of the judge According to the officials. His attacker was arrested at the scene.
Naseem Ish was on trial on charges of blasphemy after he allegedly claimed to have been punished by death or life imprisonment under the Pakistan Penal Code.
The US State Department said in a statement that officials were “shocked, saddened and angered” by Naseem’s death. The statement said that Naseem was lured to Pakistan from his home in Illinois by people who used Pakistan’s blasphemy laws to trap him. It did not give any further extension. Nasim has been receiving consular assistance since his arrest in 2018.
According to a Peshawar police spokesperson, the alleged killer told Naseem that he was an “enemy of religion” and that he deserved to be killed before opening fire.
Police is investigating how The suspect was able to enter the court room with a loaded weapon. Security guards are usually stationed outside the court buildings and police officers guard individual court rooms.
Guns are difficult to obtain in Pakistan – citizens cannot buy a weapon or carry it without a valid license. Members of the public are generally not allowed to visit the local court room, as if Naseem was shot.
The case has once again highlighted tensions over the country’s strict Ish blasphemy laws, which have been linked to several violent acts in recent years, including at least one fatal shooting.
International human rights groups have widely condemned the law, which critics allege is used to go against minority religious groups and against important journalists of the Pakistani religious establishment.
There are also fears that fundamentalist Islamic groups may end Nasim’s attacker as a hero, as he has done in the past to murderers associated with blasphemy charges.
His killer, Mumtaz Qadri, immediately surrendered to the police and was later killed. But for many staunch Islamists, Qadri was a martyr, and his tomb became a shrine for those supporting Asia Bibi’s death sentence.
At that time, Former Amnesty International researcher Rabia Mahmood said Bibi’s case became divisive because the Pakistani government had failed to take measures to prevent “campaigns of hate and violence by certain groups in the country”.