The Supreme Court of Pakistan Acquitted Asia Bibi in Blasphemy Case

The Supreme Court of Pakistan has acquitted Aasiya Noreen Bibi in the blasphemy case in which she was sentenced to death. The three-member bench comprising of justice Asif Saeed Khosa and Mazhar Alim Miankhel headed by chief justice Saqib Nisar released the verdict today on  October 31, after they had reached a decision before three weeks. Announcing the landmark decision, Chief Justice Saqib Nisar said Asia Bibi could walk free from the Sheikhupura jail immediately if she was not wanted in any other case.  if not wanted in connection with any other case.

“Her conviction is set aside and she is to be relieved forthwith if not required in other charges,”

Chief Justice Saqib Nisar

“It is ironical that in the Arabic language the appellant’s name Asia means ‘sinful’,” “but in the circumstances of the present case she appears to be a person, in the words of Shakespeare’s King Lear, ‘more sinned against than sinning’.”

judgment written by Justice Asif Khosa

Asia Bibi was accused of insulting the Prophet Muhammad in June 2009 during a row with a group of Muslim women during harvesting in lands.  Since her arrest she always maintained her innocence but has spent most of the past eight years in Adiala jail, in Rawalpindi and in Shekhupura jail in solitary confinement. 

Widespread protests have already been started in Pakistan mostly lead by the Tehrik Labaik Pakistan chaired by Allama Khadim Hussain Rizwi. Countrywide demonstrations against the verdict are being held in Karachi, Lahore, Peshawar and Multan.  There are also reports of clashes with police but there is no serious injuries or casualty so far. 

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