Islamist Party Wants to Oust Pakistani PM as 'Blasphemous' Christian Woman Freed

Islamist Party Wants to Oust Pakistani PM as 'Blasphemous' Christian Woman Freed

Earlier, the Supreme Court of Pakistan acquitted a Christian woman, Asia Bibi, sentenced to death over blasphemy allegations.

Bibi's acquittal immediately raised fears of religious violence - and presented a challenge to the government.

"T$3 he prosecution has categorically failed to prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt", read the verdict in the case of Asia Bibi. "I can't believe what I am hearing. Will they let me out, really?" She had been living on death row since 2010 after being convicted under Pakistan's tough blasphemy laws.

Thousands of supporters of the Tehreek-e-Labbaik party, led by firebrand cleric Khadim Hussain Rizvi, took to the streets in protests, demanding Bibi's public execution.

The spokesman for the military said the armed forces hoped the "matter is resolved without the disruption of peace". They are not serving Islam, they are hurting the country. "They are doing their politics".

The Pope's attention to Ms. Bibi's case paralleled efforts by the European Union's Special Envoy for the promotion of the freedom of religion or belief to secure her release by making it a condition for continued European market access for Pakistani products.

More news: Turkish-US Patrols of Syria's Manbij May Start 'Today or Tomorrow'

She was convicted of blasphemy in 2010 and was sentenced to death by hanging. Police urged demonstrators to disperse peacefully. Security was beefed up for the judges following the announcement. Nearly simultaneously, followers of a hardline Pakistani religious group rushed onto major highways across the country to paralyze traffic in protest of the decision.

It prompted over 2,000 Islamists to block a key road linking the capital, Islamabad, with the garrison city of Rawalpindi, causing traffic jams.

Reuters is reporting that the TLP has called for the ouster of newly elected Prime Minister Imran Khan in response to the verdict.

Dawn reports that protesters have blocked all major roads in Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad and Peshawar bringing all activities to a standstill. Terrorist-linked outfits including Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat held rallies in Islamabad, alleging that the European Union had pressurised the government into releasing Bibi.

In 2009, Bibi was working in the field near her home village in Sheikhupura, Punjab, when she asked for water and the Muslim women working with her insisted that Bibi was "unfit to drink from the same water bowl as them" because she was a non-Muslim. She had spent eight years seeking mercy from appeals courts while imprisoned on death row.

The Red Zone in Islamabad, where the Supreme Court is located, was sealed off by the police. Ms. Bibi got relief she should have been entitled to as a right just because the Chief Justice wanted to help a weak new government struggling to manage the country's external finances. They reported that 66 people have been murdered over blasphemy accusations since 1990. On Thursday, prison officials said two inmates were arrested last month for planning to kill Bibi by strangling her. Bibi's case was closely followed internationally amid concern for Pakistan's religious minorities, who have frequently come under attack by extremists in recent years. A third brother, who also faced blasphemy accusations, now lives in Malaysia but hopes to move to Canada. Speaking to Vatican News, he described the Supreme Court's October 31 verdict as a victory for the whole nation and a victory for justice.

Related Articles