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Minister for minorities condemns threat to Aasia

December 04, 2010


Pakistani Christian woman Asia Bibi is seen in an undated photo handed out by family members in Punjab province on November 13. — Photo by Reuters

ISLAMABAD: Minister for minorities condemned a cleric for offering cash to anyone who kills Aasia Bibi, a Pakistani Christian woman convicted of blasphemy against Islam.

The minister, Shahbaz Bhatti, said the offer is ''immoral, unjust and irresponsible'' and should be condemned in the ''strongest possible manner''.

A Pakistani court sentenced Asia Bibi to death last month, triggering protests from human rights groups and Christian organisations. Religio-political parties have demonstrated in support of the sentence and the blasphemy laws.

Cleric Yousuf Qureshi said Friday that if the government did not execute Aasia, his mosque would pay anyone who killed her $5,800.

Bhatti called Saturday for authorities to ensure the safety of Aasia and her family.