In a democratic society, citizens have a right to contend, debate, or maintain that the law has not been correctly framed by the state in terms of the mischief sought to be suppressed or that the law promulgated by the State ought to contain adequate safeguards against its misapplication or misuse by motivated persons. Seeking improvement of a manmade law in respect of a religious matter for better or proper enforcement of such law does not ipso facto amount to criticizing the religious aspect of such law. An example at hand is that of the Hudood laws introduced in this country in the year 1979, which were followed by a persistent protest against their misapplication and misuse against weaker segments of society and religious minorities. Protests had led to various amendments made in those laws and the Pakistan Penal Code and the Code of Criminal Procedure from time to time in the later years. With the strong religious sentiments in our society, it ought to be understood quite clearly that any call coming from serious quarters for reform in the laws regarding religion-related offences can only be a call for introducing safeguards against misapplication or misuse of such laws by motivated persons and such a call is ordinarily not to be construed as a call against the religious aspects of the offences covered by such laws. Similar is the case as far as the offence of blasphemy is concerned. It is of critical importance to mention here that in one form or the other laws against offending religious sentiments have been a part of Pakistan (previously Indian) Penal Code since its enactment in the year 1860 by the British Government to protect religious feelings, sensibilities, and sensitivities of different religious groups or classes of persons. Section 295 has been a part of the Code since its inception and the same protects places of worship of all religions so that the religion of any class of persons is not insulted. The majority of blasphemy cases are based on false accusations stemming from property issues or other personal or family vendettas. A bare look at the definition of blasphemy contained in section 295-C, PPC shows that apparently, the statutory definition restricts blasphemy to defiling the sacred name of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). This, by itself, amply demonstrates that the definition of blasphemy contained in section 295-C, PPC may be considered by some to be needing improvement to bring it in line with the true scope of the concept of blasphemy and, likewise, there may be others who may feel that some procedural and other safeguards need to be introduced so that it should become difficult to level or prosecute a false allegation regarding commission of the offence of blasphemy. Amendment of the Hudood laws in the country makes it evident that in all matters, including religion, there is an ongoing effort to keep the laws of the land updated through amendments to meet the emerging challenges and also to provide safeguards against mischievous manipulations, misapplication, or misuse of the existing laws. It is an unfortunate fact, which cannot be disputed that in many cases registered in respect of the offence of blasphemy false allegations are levelled for extraneous purposes and in the absence of adequate safeguards against misapplication or misuse of such law by motivated persons the persons falsely accused of commission of that offence suffer beyond proportion or repair. The majority of blasphemy cases are based on false accusations stemming from property issues or other personal or family vendettas rather than genuine instances of blasphemy and they inevitably lead to mob violence against the entire community. Currently, there is no Islamic scholar upon whom the Muslim community has consensus. There have been more killings, communal riots, sect conflicts, and mob violence in the name of religion in our Islamic Republic of Pakistan. And still, after so much enhancement in technology and science, Muslims are killing Muslims upon the false allegations of blasphemy, many lives, tribes, and communities have been strangled upon this sensitive issue. But no Islamic scholar asked other sect scholars to pass a fatwa or finding upon the issue of blasphemy. When religion intervenes in any activity: there is law, but no law. The trouble is that over the years bigotry and intolerance have made such deep inroads into our society that all three parties in the blasphemy cycle-complainant, police officers. Judge-think that they are doing the right thing and also earning divine favour into the bargain when they are pressing charges under this law. This is zeal sanctioned by law and clothed in self-righteousness. “But coming back to blasphemy, to seek it in act of obvious insanity is to devalue both Islam and the notion of blasphemy.” Man is kind enough when he is not excited by religion. In religion and politics, people’s beliefs and convictions are in almost every case gotten at second-hand, and without examination. Religious identity has been centred as one of the core bases for national belonging in Pakistan. History shows that in the matter of religions we progress backwards and not the other way. When the state has defined Islam as the ultimate source of sovereignty, such battles have taken on deeper political significance. When religious identity and authenticity are tied to the authority of the state, “blasphemy” becomes a site for political contestation. What is important in Pakistan is the jostling for position as the true, authentic, and passionate representatives of Islam, that has given blasphemy accusations its real force in political life. In the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, there are unspeakably missing precious things like freedom of speech, and freedom of conscience. Such flaws and misconceptions are causing lives, the dignity of religion and the state. (Concluded) The writer is a legal practitioner and a columnist. He tweets @legal_bias and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.