HEADLINE PAKISTAN

Asia Bibi case: Govt decides to hold talks with protesters

ISLAMABAD: The federal government on Thursday decided to deal with the crisis, arising out of Asia Bibi case in a blasphemy case, in a peaceful manner,

PM Khan has also formed a committee comprising state minister for interior, information minister and foreign minister to look into the matter and devise a strategy to defuse the ongoing political tension.

Sources told ARY News that Prime Minister Imran Khan, during the federal cabinet meeting, issued instructions to governors of all four provinces and party leaders to play their role in resolving the crisis.

He also directed ministers to expedite contacts with religious leaders for earliest resolution of the matter.

‘We cannot allow anyone to do politics on sensitive issues,” the PM told the meeting.

He called upon the ministers to also take into confidence other parliamentary leaders to maintain peace across the country.

During his address to the nation a day ago (Oct 31), PM Khan had said the Supreme Court decision in Asia Bibi case was in line with the Constitution.

He also asked people not to pay heed to a ‘small group of people’ urging citizens to revolt against the state.

PM Khan had also warned protesters against challenging the state writ, saying the government would move against such malcontents.

The Supreme Court on Wednesday set aside the conviction of Asia Bibi, a Christian woman condemned to death for blasphemy. This verdict came on an appeal filed by the woman challenging her capital punishment.

Asia Bibi, a mother of five, had been on death row since 2010 when Pope Benedict XVI joined in international calls for her release.

In 2015 her daughter met with Pope Francis, who as the head of the Catholic Church offered prayers for her mother.

Ms. Bibi was arrested after three women went to a local cleric in Sheikhupura, to report her and the trial court convicted and sentenced her to death.

She appealed to the Lahore High Court, which upheld the decision in October 2014, with the case ending up at the Supreme Court.