ISLAMABAD: The federal capital was put on high alert on Tuesday night as a three-member bench of the Supreme Court is expected to deliver its verdict on the final appeal for stay of Aasia Bibi’s execution in a blasphemy case on Wednesday (today).

Sources in the administration told Dawn that Rangers and Frontier Constabulary had been called as part of measures to step up security in Islamabad. Security of the Judges Enclave and the Diplomatic Enclave has been handed over to Rangers.

The SC bench, headed by Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar, had on Oct 8 reserved its judgement on the final appeal against the execution of Aasia Bibi, a Christian woman convicted of blasphemy and sentenced to death. She was convicted under Section 295-C of the Pakistan Penal Code on a charge of uttering derogatory remarks against the Holy Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) in 2009.

The Lahore High Court had upheld her conviction by the trial court and retained her death sentence in October 2014. The Supreme Court had admitted her appeal for hearing in July 2015.

On Oct 13 this year, the Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan, a religio-political party headed by Khadim Hussain Rizvi, threatened to “paralyse the country within hours if the Supreme Court sets Aasia Bibi free”.

In 2011, Punjab governor Salman Taseer, who had spoken out in support of Aasia Bibi, was gunned down in Islamabad. His assassin Mumtaz Qadri was executed in 2016 after the court found him guilty of murder.

The sources said security personnel had been asked to guard the Red Zone as it houses sensitive installations, including the Supreme Court.

The decision to take stringent security measures was made after a number of meetings held to thrash out a strategy to deal with any unforeseen situation after the verdict.

According to the sources, when some senior police officers met officials of the apex court, the law enforcers were asked to adopt security measures for the Supreme Court and other key points.

About 300 police personnel, along with paramilitary units, will guard the SC building, adjacent to Parliament House on Constitution Avenue.

Published in Dawn, October 31st, 2018



Updated 21 May, 2022

Band-aid measure

A more pronounced impact would have been possible had the cap on energy prices been removed.
21 May, 2022

Bilawal’s defence

BILAWAL Bhutto-Zardari’s robust defence at the UN headquarters of former prime minister Imran Khan’s Feb 24 trip...
21 May, 2022

Yasin Malik’s conviction

THE conviction of veteran Kashmiri freedom fighter and head of the Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front Yasin Malik by an...
Updated 20 May, 2022

TTP peace talks

ANOTHER attempt to sue for peace with the outlawed TTP is being made, again facilitated by the Afghan Taliban that...
20 May, 2022

Beyond the law

THE senior judiciary should take care not to overreach in its zeal to ‘fix’ issues it ideally need not worry...
20 May, 2022

Political musical chairs

YET another political crisis is brewing in Balochistan, where old rivals Jam Kamal Khan Alyani and Sardar Yar...