Protestors oppose acquittal of Christian woman in Pakistan

By Rahul Venkat

Islamabad: The public outcry intensified in Pakistan as the Supreme Court reversed the 2010 execution order and acquitted a Christian woman accused of blasphemy.

Pakistan news channel, Samaa TV, reported that several protestors, including from right-wing political parties, gathered outside the Punjab assembly after the verdict. Some of them blocked roads, causing traffic snarls, forcing diversions.

Some of them turned violent as there were reports of tyres being burned in Karachi. Following this, the Punjab Home Department has imposed a curfew till November 10.

Asia Bibi, also known as Asia Noreen, was a Roman catholic from the Punjab province in Pakistan, worked as a labourer when she got into a squabble with her fellow workers after touching a metal cup to drink water in, despite being forbidden from doing so. She then proceeded to question Prophet Muhammad which resulted in her peers complaining to a cleric. The police investigated the case and arrested her under Section 295 C of the Pakistan Penal Code.

The judgment came from a special three-judge bench comprising of Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar and Justices Asif Saeed Khosa and Mazhar Alam Khan, who surmised that the prosecution had not proved its case ‘beyond reasonable doubt.’