Aasia Bibi flies out of Pakistan: BBC

Published: November 8, 2018
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Aasia Bibi. PHOTO: REUTERS/FILE

Aasia Bibi. PHOTO: REUTERS/FILE

MULTAN  : Aasia Bibi, a blasphemy accused who was acquitted by the apex court on October 31, flew out of Pakistan in the wee hours of Thursday after her release from Multan jail on Wednesday evening.

According to BBC Urdu, Bibi left for Netherlands from Noor Khan Airbase along with her family and the Dutch ambassador.

SCREENGRAB: BBC URDU

SCREENGRAB: BBC URDU

Earlier, she was shifted from Multan jail to the federal capital amid heightened security on Wednesday night – exactly one week after the country’s top court acquitted her of blasphemy charges that were levelled against her in 2009.

According to official sources, the Supreme Court on Wednesday morning issued a notification to the Ministry of Interior and the Ministry of Law and Justice for her release.

The notification was forwarded to District Jail Sheikhupura which issued the order for Aasia Bibi’s release from Multan Women Jail, where she had been shifted in view of security threats.

The sources said that prior to her release, the jail administration conducted her medical examination and found her completely healthy. Later, she was shifted to Multan airport in a convoy amid heightened security. During her movement, the route from jail to the airport was also briefly blocked.

Canada, Italy urge Pakistan to ensure Aasia Bibi’s well-being

Aasia Bibi was taken to Islamabad in a private plane, a source added.

Thousands of protestors mainly belonging to the Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) poured onto the streets in protest after a three-judge bench of the Supreme Court overturned Asia Bibi’s conviction on October 31.

The protestors blockaded major cities to demand her immediate execution, in a three-day stand-off that ended when the government agreed to allow a review of the ruling and put her name on the no-fly list.

However, Minister of State for Interior Shehryar Afridi told Voice of America earlier in the day that until Bibi is convicted or there is a judicial order, and her name cannot be placed on the Exit Control List (ECL).

“Every Pakistani, no matter their religion, is the responsibility of the government and no one can be given a licence to play with someone’s life or property,” he added. “Aasia Bibi and her family have been provided complete security.”

Aasia Bibi’s lawyer flees to Netherlands amid death threats

When asked about the clause in the agreement with the TLP that allowed a review petition on Aasia’s acquittal, he said such a petition is within a citizen’s rights to pursue and that any decisions made by the SC will be fully implemented.

Speaking on the protests, Afridi said, “We decided not to use force and engage them instead.” He said all stakeholders and the opposition were consulted about decisions made in the wake of the protests.

The government says legal proceedings against scores arrested after the protests are continuing and there will be no compromise on supremacy of the law.

Aasia Bibi’s lawyer says wants to stay in Netherlands

Imran orders payout for property damages

Prime Minister Imran Khan directed the government of Punjab to prepare compensation package for the people who suffered damage to their properties in recent protests by ‘miscreants’, Radio Pakistan reported.

The PM also reiterated his commitment to protecting the lives and property of people and said maintaining law and order and ensuring writ of the state is the government’s top priority.

“My top most priority is to ensure peace and rule of law,” the PM said while talking to members of the National Assembly from Swabi, Mardan, Charsadda, Nowshera and Peshawar districts at the PM Office.

National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser, Defence Minister Pervez Khattak, Minister of State Ali Muhammad Khan and Special Assistant Naeem ul Haq were also present during the meeting.

The prime minister said presently the country was passing through a critical juncture, but expressed the hope the people would see a visible change in the next six years.

The assurance came after the government started “crackdown” against “miscreants” involved in damaging public and private properties and vehicles during last week’s protest sit-ins after the acquittal of blasphemy accused Aasia Bibi.

The government had taken the decision to take action against the troublemakers amid criticism against it for striking a deal with the protesters in which there had been no mention of the damage caused to the properties of innocent people.

Similarly, the government had been facing criticism for not taking any action against those leaders of the protest who had threatened the judges and used seditious language against state institutions.

The prime minister said when the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf came to power, the country was passing through a critical financial crisis. “The government’s first priority was to approach the friendly countries to stabilise the economy, and provided the people all possible relief to minimise their problems.”

Imran said the government was also working on giving required facilities to export industry to increase the country’s exports, in addition efforts were also being made to provide health, education and other facilities to the people on priority basis.

The prime minister told the parliamentarians that the five-million housing scheme of the government would not only provide housing facilities to the people, but it would also generate economic activities in the country and provide job opportunities to the younger generation.

“Work is also in progress to provide temporary shelters and two times meal to the poor and destitute in various cities,” the prime minister said.

The prime minister asked the members of the assembly to inform the government immediately if in their areas the Benazir Income Support Programme’s survey was not carried out so that a poverty survey could be carried out in those areas on a priority basis.

He said the ministers had been made responsible about their duties and their performance would be reviewed regularly, adding that the PTI government had set the tradition of reviewing performance of minister for the first time.

Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry and PM Imran met in Islamabad on Wednesday and also constituted an organising committee to hold an international Rehmatul-el Aalameen Conference to commemorate 12th Rabiul Awwal.

The committee includes Chaudhry, Religious Minister Noorul Haq Qadri, Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Ali Muhammad Khan, Babar Awan, Ejaz Chaudhry, Senator Javed Faisal and the prime minister’s media assistant Iftikhar Durrani.

[WITH ADDITIONAL INPUT FROM NEWS DESK]

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Reader Comments (8)

  • numbersnumbers
    Nov 8, 2018 - 3:28AM

    Good move by PTI Government!Recommend

  • Jamil
    Nov 8, 2018 - 5:35AM

    Sad that a nation cannot protect it’s citizens and has to deport them for their safety! Recommend

  • Bryan
    Nov 8, 2018 - 7:18AM

    At last she escapes the madness of besotted and bigoted men who do not trust the supreme judiciary in the country which has studied the case we’ll.
    Events like these cause serious sent on Pakistan’s image as a democratic republic.

    If the investigation has not found anything wrong who are these men to pronounce death for another human.

    Mob justice? It’s painful to see almost public lynching of a fellow citizen. Kudos to government for handling it with a firm hand and letting her live peacefully in another nation.Recommend

  • Zelman Samuel
    Nov 8, 2018 - 9:54AM

    At last the great day has come. Such a joyful moment. After suffering for many years. She is free at last. Recommend

  • Saad
    Nov 8, 2018 - 11:11AM

    Naya Pakistan !!Recommend

  • Ahmad
    Nov 8, 2018 - 12:28PM

    I Thank the Almighty, I thank the Justice Saab, I thank Anybody who was involved to save this Woman from Crazy Extremist Mullahs. The Sad thing is We can’t protect her in our Country and she had to leave her homeland and we claim we are a peaceful nation. Its a Shame that she left but I am really happy for the lady. Go Live your life Lady. God Bless you. AmeenRecommend

  • kilo
    Nov 8, 2018 - 3:01PM

    I hope Aasia bibi will prove to be another Malala and become fearless ambassador of girls education, minority rights, women rights, human rights etc.Recommend

  • whatever
    Nov 8, 2018 - 5:06PM

    Why Netherlands?Recommend

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