ISLAMABAD: A day after the Supreme Court rejected a review petition against Aasia Bibi’s acquittal in a blasphemy case, the government on Wednesday said she was free to go wherever she wanted.
“Following the decision of the apex court, Aasia Bibi is a free woman and she can go anywhere she wants,” Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry told Dawn when contacted.
In reply to a question, the minister said: “It would be her own decision when she leaves the country.”
On Oct 31, the SC reversed the judgements of the Lahore High Court as well as the trial court, thus setting aside the death sentence awarded to Aasia Bibi.
After her release from Multan’s women prison in the light of the Oct 31 Supreme Court verdict, Aasia Bibi was brought to Islamabad on board a special aircraft. But her whereabouts have been kept secret.
Aasia Bibi became a free woman after eight-year imprisonment and countries like Canada and Italy have offered her citizenship as it is believed that her life is in danger in the country.
Her husband Ashiq Masih had reportedly stated that they could be killed by those opposing her acquittal.
Earlier, the international Catholic agency Aid to the Church in Need had quoted Ashiq Masih as saying in a telephone call: “I appeal to the Italian government to help me and my family leave Pakistan. We are extremely worried because our lives are in danger. We don’t even have enough to eat because we can’t go out to buy food.”
Published in Dawn, January 31st, 2019