Pakistan; Islamists and lawyers protest against pardon to Asia Bibi
24 Nov 2010
Islamabad: November 23, 2010. (PCP) As Federal Minister for Minority Affairs, Shahbaz Bhatti, takes U-Turn on blasphemy law in a statement to news agencies that “Pakistan will not repeal blasphemy law but revise to stop misuse of this law”,
Meanwhile, the Muslims gathered outside Sheikhupura District Jail on rumors that Asia Bibi is pardoned and going to be released. The lawyers of Sheikhupura District and Nankana Districts boycotted courts today against pardon to Asia Bibi, who was handed over Death Sentence by District and Session Judge Sheikhupura on charges of 295-B and C of PPC of blasphemy
The Pakistani print media also highlighted statements of Muslim religious organizations not to pardon Asia Bibi and threatened government of Pakistan on any blasphemy law repeal or revision.
The insiders in Pakistan Government to PCP that some ally partners in government have opposed any move to repeal blasphemy law or to Pardon Asia Bibi. The Jamiat Ulma Islam JUI(F) which is ally of PPP led government have informed President Asif Zardari that pardon of Asia Bibi will spark unrest in Pakistan and it will not support government on this issue. The Jamat-e-Islami Pakistan JI is also against pardon to Asia Bibi.
The government also used Shahbaz Bhatti, one of selected Christian minister in government to issue this statement ““(Repeal) is not being considered though we are considering changing it so that misuse of the law should be stopped, Bhatti told Reuters”
There were reports of meetings of Islamist organizations in Karachi, Lahore, Faisalabad, Rawalpindi, Peshawar and other cities of Punjab province of Pakistan to launch protest against government if Asia Bibi is pardoned. It is feared that Muslims in these cities will take out protest processions after Friday Prayers.
Nazir S Bhatti, President of Pakistan Christian Congress PCC said in a statement issued by Central Secretariat of PCC at Karachi that “we demand repeal of blasphemy law because revision in law will not stop misuse of blasphemy law”
“I urge Shahbaz Bhatti to resign from government post because President House and Prime Minister house is using him as tool to satisfy international forums which are pressing government to repeal of blasphemy law” said Nazir Bhatti
Nazir Bhatti appealed to government of Pakistan to adopt necessary security measures for protection of Asia Bibi because she is not safe in jail and gathering of Muslims in front of jail on news of her release is cause of concern for Christians in Pakistan.
Nazir Bhatti demanded immediate release of Asia Bibi and asked PPP leaders not to make Asia Bibi case as media trial but to act for her freedom fro false accusations and death sentence.