- Pakistan Defence Minister Pervez Khattak makes baffling statement over Sialkot lynching
- Murders take place when young people get emotional, says Khattak
- A violent mob had lynched a Sri Lankan man and set his body on fire over blasphemy allegations
Sri Lankan man's lynching in Sialkot: Pakistan Defence Minister Pervez Khattak has come out with a bizarre explanation behind the ghastly mob lynching of a Sri Lankan man in Sialkot last week.
Khattak said "murders take place" when young people get emotional, adding that the incident should not be linked with Imran Khand government's decision to lift the ban on the Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP).
"You know the reasons [behind this incident] too. When children ... grow up, they become spirited and do things out of emotions. This does not mean 'this was the result of that action'," The Dawn quoted Khattak, as saying in response to a question during a media interaction in Peshawar.
"...this happens among kids, fights take place and even murders. [Does] this mean it is the government's fault?" he questioned.
He went on to add that such incidents do not mean that "Pakistan is going towards destruction."
Angry supporters of the hardline Islamist party Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) attacked a garment factory and lynched its general manager Priyantha Kumara Diyawadana before setting his body on fire over allegations of blasphemy last Friday.
Diyawadana, who was in his 40s and was from Sri Lanka’s Kandy city, was working as the general manager in the Rajko industries (dealing in garments – sportswear) in Sialkot district, some 100 kilometres from Lahore, for the last seven years.
Pressure on Imran Khan to act tough
As pressure mounted on the Imran Khan government to bring the guilty to justice, the authorities said over 800 people have been booked under terrorism charges while 13 prime suspects are among 118 arrested so far.
Imran Khan, in a tweet, said he will ensure that those responsible will be punished. "The horrific vigilante attack on factory in Sialkot & the burning alive of Sri Lankan manager is a day of shame for Pakistan. I am overseeing the investigations & let there be no mistake all those responsible will be punished with full severity of the law. Arrests are in progress," he tweeted.
Mob killings over allegations of blasphemy have been very common in Pakistan, where the crime can carry the death sentence.
(With inputs from agencies)