The husband of Aasia Bibi, a Christian woman acquitted after eight years on death row for blasphemy, on Saturday criticised the government deal with protesters of religious groups that left her in legal limbo, and called on authorities to protect her.

Bibi's conviction was overturned by the Supreme Court on Wednesday and she was ordered to be set free, triggering protests by the Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) and other religiopolitical groups that lasted three days.

The government and TLP reached a deal on Friday to conclude the latter's protests. One of the major concessions the government agreed to was to "initiate the legal process" to place Bibi's name on the exit control list (ECL).

The government had also assured the party it would not oppose a review petition filed against the Supreme Court's judgement in the Aasia Bibi blasphemy case. A review petition has been filed with the top court.

“It is wrong to set a precedent in which you pile pressure onto the judiciary,” Bibi's husband Ashiq Masih told German Deutsche Welle radio.

He said the government should never have yielded to pressure from protesters.

Masih said the court had been “very courageous” to acquit his wife, an illiterate mother in her 50s whose case started in 2009 when she was accused of having uttered blasphemous remarks after an argument with two Muslim women.

“The current situation is very dangerous for us. We have no security and are hiding here and there, frequently changing our location,” Masih said.

Bibi's lawyer fled Pakistan on Saturday, fearing for his life.

Masih demanded the government reinforce Bibi's protection in prison, worrying that she may be attacked. He cited the case of two Christian men who were shot dead after a court acquitted them in another blasphemy case.

“The situation is dangerous for Aasia. I feel that her life is not secure,” he said. “So I appeal to government to enhance Aasia's security in jail.”

Opinion

The challenges ahead
23 Apr 2021

The challenges ahead

What will follow an unconditional American withdrawal from Afghanistan?
The big bang
23 Apr 2021

The big bang

A high population growth rate has a disastrous impact.
Fiscal management
23 Apr 2021

Fiscal management

When the economy expands, do not spend all the extra money.
Blaming the victim
Updated 22 Apr 2021

Blaming the victim

The psychological consequences of blaming the victim, or delegitimising their experiences, are far-reaching.

Editorial

23 Apr 2021

TTP resurgence?

IN a brazen attack that claimed five lives, the outlawed Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan targeted the Serena Hotel in...
23 Apr 2021

Tehran visit

THE two key takeaways from Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi’s trip to Iran on Wednesday were the need for...
23 Apr 2021

Road to racial justice

THE death of George Floyd last May caused global shock and outrage, and led to mass protests in both the US and...
22 Apr 2021

Capping power debt

THE suggested revision in the Circular Debt Management Plan, which aims to cap the flow or addition of new debt to...
22 Apr 2021

Istanbul postponement

WHILE the postponement of the Istanbul peace talks on Afghanistan, which were scheduled to be held later this week,...
22 Apr 2021

No mining precautions

YET another accident caused by a methane gas explosion has been reported from the dangerous coal mines of...