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Pakistan MPs pass resolution condemning lynching of Sri Lankan manager in Sialkot

Priyantha Kumara, the Sri Lankan manager with family (Photo: IANS)

Pakistan's Senate–the upper house of parliament, unanimously passed a resolution condemning the lynching of Sri Lankan national Priyantha Kumara, in Sialkot by a radical mob accusing him of committing blasphemy.

The resolution, which was moved by Leader of the House Shahzad Waseem, said that the House condemned such acts of extremism and the government should take action against people involved in the lynching.

The Chairman of the Senate, Sadiq Sanjrani announced that the upper house would send a delegation of senators to Sri Lanka to hand over a copy of the resolution to Kumara’s family and convey condolences, reported The Friday Times.

Kumara, an engineer and a factory manager was lynched in Sialkot earlier this month. He had been living and working in Pakistan for 11 years. He was mercilessly beaten and his body burnt by a violent mob consisting of his own factory workers which accused him of blasphemy.

The country is witnessing increasing radicalism, partly with the government bowing down to radical groups.

Some of the workers in the factory had accused Kumara of tearing a poster with Quaranic verses from the factory wall. As they alleged blasphemy, a mob of the radical group Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) gathered and beat up Kumara to death. Investigations revealed that Kumara had been falsely accused of blasphemy by some workers.

Senators also discussed the rising tide of extremism in the country and the misuse of blasphemy-related legislation. Opposition senators including Senator Raza Rabbani of the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) even went to the extent of saying that the State was complicit in the rise of radicalism in the country, reported Sri Lankan newspaper, The Daily Mirror.

Another opposition senator, Irfan Siddiqui of the PML-N said the strategy of taking up arms against one terrorist and surrendering to another could not yield any positive results. “The fact is that not only the government but the State also is helpless in the face of extremists,” he added.

The lynching of Kumara shocked Sri Lanka, where the society and politicians joined together in pressurising Pakistan to take action against the killers of Kumara. Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan called up Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa to apologise and assure him of action.