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

Biden’s world
Updated 27 Jan 2021

Biden’s world

Biden’s America is not going to be one that once again throws open visas so that the world’s brightest can easily immigrate.
The PDM’s predicament
Updated 27 Jan 2021

The PDM’s predicament

The interests and stakes of the parties in the alliance are too diverse for them to maintain unity of action for a longer period.

Editorial

Updated 27 Jan 2021

Pemra’s powers

The right to freedom of expression has been curtailed to such an extent that it invites comparisons with martial law times.
27 Jan 2021

Increasing debt

THE numbers released by the State Bank regarding the government’s domestic debt stock and servicing at the end of...
27 Jan 2021

Women in conflict

“WHEN the guns fall silent, it does not mean the suffering of women and girls stops. The suffering and abuse that...
Pakistan-US ties
Updated 26 Jan 2021

Pakistan-US ties

The US remains the world’s most powerful country, one Pakistan cannot afford to ignore.
26 Jan 2021

NAB not impartial

NAB CHAIRMAN retired justice Javed Iqbal has claimed that his organisation is an unbiased anti white-collar-crime...
26 Jan 2021

Pakistan-South Africa series

IN what is seen as a rare instance, Pakistan start as the underdogs on their home turf when they take on South ...