What the slain governor said about Aasia Bibi’s case seven years back has been proven in the Apex court of Pakistan. His clairvoyance and the vision of justice for marginalised minorities of Pakistan has won today, and finally the justice has been served in this lawless land of the pure. He must be smiling from above that his blood has not gone in vain, and finally the lady for whom he paid with his life on January 4, 2011, has been set free. We can say without any qualms that Taseer won, and the bigots lost! The biggest irony in Pakistan is that people do not do research on their own, but they rely on hearsay and digest the facts which are muddled and distorted. Galvanise extremist minds with such cooked content and you have a weapon of mass destruction that can eliminate saner minds like Salman Taseer to establish their control on society. Later on, when such people are brought before the court of law and are asked if they actually listened to the source or believed what they heard from the local cleric, their answer is that we acted on information we heard. The Blasphemy law was passed in 1860, during the British era which included crimes like disturbing congregations, trespass on burial grounds, desecrating religious beliefs or defiling places of worship. Initially the punishment was 10 years imprisonment, but during Zia’s regime in 1986, death penalty was included for blasphemy. The verdict of Supreme Court is indeed a historic one, it has laid the foundation of building a Pakistan where minorities will be protected as stated in the constitution, and has sent a clear message that bigots will not be allowed to misuse the name of the Prophet (SAW) to achieve their nefarious designs. The remarks of Justice Asif Saeed Khosa, “Blasphemy is a serious offence but the insult of the appellant’s religion and religious sensibilities by the complainant party and then mixing truth with falsehood in the name of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (SAW) was also not short of being blasphemous”, created ripples in the extremist quarters that they cannot use blasphemy to settle personal scores. Now the onus lies on the political parties of Pakistan and their lawmakers to amend the law so that if someone falsely accuses another of committing blasphemy, and its proven that the defendant was being framed by the one who has accused; then the accuser should be taken to task and an example may be set for others to stay away from such preposterous accusations. But, the problem is that in a society where things can escalate quickly even political parties decide to brush off serious issues and go with the flow. Hitherto, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari (PPP) following the Prime Minister Imran Khan have expressed their support for the Supreme Court’s Decision, other political parties and their leaders do not want to enter this realm, for no one wants to become another Salman Taseer. However, what they do not realise is that how long will this continue and how many Mashal Khans and Aasia Bibis are yet to bear the brunt of being falsely accused. It is high time we addressed the misuse of Blasphemy at the hands of those who want to exercise their hard power through use of sensitive topics; if the west can come out of its witch hunt, why cannot we? Furthermore, there are groups that are waiting for such issues to use them for their expediency. Such groups garner their support from the strata of population who believe whatever they are told is true and if they are not up in arms at such junctures, they may die as infidels and may never enter heaven. Tehreek e Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) is one such group that leaves no occasion to further its agenda, and now it has become a political party as well. When personal interests like gaining power are involved, the cause cannot remain an altruistic one for long; and the most dangerous situation brews when religion is used as a tool for political gain. The biggest irony in Pakistan is that people do not do research on their own, but they rely on hearsay and digest the facts which are muddled and distorted Moreover, Fatwas by the TLP leadership have been issue which openly ordain their followers to kill the three Honorable Judges who were part of the bench that acquitted Aasia Bibi. It does not end here, they have also asked Pak Army generals to rebel against the Chief of Army staff. The institutions need to take necessary action right away as issuing such edicts openly can prove to be catastrophic and land the country in a precarious situation. Followers of TLP also need to be told that Islam is a religion of peace and the Holy Prophet (SAW) forgave the people who pelted him with stones, who hurled abuses at him, who caused him pain. The people of Pakistan have a chance to get rid of extremism which wears the guise of religion. People like Salman Taseer have been martyred to highlight this issue, their blood has borne fruit which has grown on the branches of the Judiciary. Now it is up to us to point out those who have used the name of our Holy Prophet (SAW), and have played with the sentiments of the masses for their own advantage to propagate nothing but an extremist mindset. If they are not dealt with properly this time, then we as a nation will have lost an opportunity to set our course on the straight path. The writer is a freelance columnist Published in Daily Times, November 2nd 2018.