Published: Thu, November 15, 2018
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

Canada in talks with Pakistan over Asia Bibi

Canada in talks with Pakistan over Asia Bibi

Islamabad, Nov 13 Pakistan confirmed on Tuesday that it has discussed with Canada the case of Asia Bibi, a day after Ottawa indicated that it wants to offer asylum to the Christian woman recently freed from prison after her blasphemy conviction was overturned.

Since her release, Bibi and her family have faced threats and her husband has pleaded with countries in the West to relocate them.

He said some media outlets showed irresponsibility by reporting that Bibi had left the country after her release from the jail.

Last week, the Foreign Office had dismissed reports of Asiya and her family leaving Pakistan.

Islamists have threatened to stir up protest in Pakistan if Bibi is permitted to leave.

How far-reaching are Pakistan's blasphemy laws, and what impacts have they had on religious minorities there? The photo is actually of Aasia's daughter two years ago.

She was found guilty and sentenced to death at trial court, and later lost an appeal at the Lahore High Court in October 2014, but has always maintained her innocence.

However, it has since been reported that because of the political deal struck with Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan, Asia Bibi is, once again, effectively on death row. The lawmaker's constituency is in a deeply conservative region in the country's northwest.

"We are trying to seek co-operation from Twitter and Facebook against such fake news", Chaudhry added. It was alleged that she made derogatory remarks about Islam after others objected to her drinking water from their glass because she was not a Muslim. The women later said Bibi had insulted the Prophet Muhammad, and she was charged with blasphemy.

Wilson Chowdry, the chairman of the British Pakistani Christian Association, told The Sunday Telegraph that Mrs Bibi's asylum claim had been denied because of fears of unrest in the United Kingdom, a statement that has not been verified.

"We call on the government of Pakistan to ensure that the decision of the nation's supreme court is upheld". He also incited the military to mutiny.

"The root cause is, of course, Pakistan's blasphemy laws and we urge the UK Government to do all in their power to advocate for these laws to be amended to prevent their misuse and to promote tolerance and harmony between faith communities". In 2011, the governor of Punjab province was killed by his own guard after he defended Bibi and criticized the blasphemy law.

"There may be protests, but they won't last very long, they are mobs, they have been looting, they have very little religious inclination, I don't anticipate it will go on for too long", he told The National.

On Sunday, the prime minister said the Supreme Court's decision would be final.

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