Pakistan Christian Congress demands justice for Asia Bibi
Karachi: October 19, 2014. (PCP) The Central Secretariat of Pakistan Christian Congress PCC in a press note issued here today has strongly condemned decision to confirm death sentence by higher court of a Christian mother Asia Bibi who was accused of blasphemy.
Dr. Nazir S Bhatti, President of Pakistan Christian Congress PCC said in a statement that justice is never ensured toward Christians in Pakistan by lower courts or higher courts.
“It is feared that Asia Bibi will be victim of violence as recently a Muslim elite force officer fired shot on a British non-Muslim victim of blasphemy in Adiala Jail Rawalpindi” said Nazir Bhatti
There have been incidents of killing of Christians accused of blasphemy outside court compounds, inside court buildings and in jails by extremist Muslims who were never brought to justice.
The Muslim mobs have targeted Christian life and property on pretext to blasphemy laws setting on fire hundreds of Christian homes and burning alive Christian children, women and elderly men in different cities of Pakistan. The Muslim police officers who facilitated such mob attacks were promoted by Punjab government while culprits walked free on streets.
On October 16, 2014, when Division Bench of Lahore High Court was hearing appeal of Asia Bibi against death sentence on charges of blasphemy, the presence of members of a banned outfit in court room was allowed by government of Punjab to pressure judges to dismiss plea of victim.
The justice Iqbal Bhatti of Lahore High Court was gunned down in his court chamber on awarding bail to a blasphemy accused Christian.
Nazir Bhatti added “It was assured to religious minorities in Pakistan that to stop misuse of blasphemy laws, no First Information Report FIR will be registered without any enquiry by a magistrate and if Muslim complainant shall be found filing false charges of blasphemy he will be punished with 8 years jail sentence but nor any enquiry was conducted before registration of blasphemy case against Asia Bibi and nor any complainant is arrested or jailed in any blasphemy case in which accused was acquitted from court ”
In June 2009, Asia Bibi was involved in an argument with a group of Muslim women with whom she had been harvesting berries after the other women became angry at her for drinking the same water as them. She was subsequently accused of insulting the Islamic prophet Muhammad, a charge she denies, and was arrested and imprisoned. In November 2010, a Sheikhupura judge sentenced her to death.
Dr. Nazir Bhatti urged government of Pakistan to ensure justice for Asia Bibi and her security and safety in jail.