Asiya Bibi acquittal: Bilawal urges national institutions to stand with SC

Islamabad: Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) chief Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari on Wednesday called on all national institutions in the country to support the Supreme Court on the recent decision to clear Asiya Bibi of blasphemy charges.

“The Supreme Court is our national institution. All other institutions, including the National Assembly, should stand with the Supreme Court. We cannot run the country from the streets. We can (only) run this country according to the Constitution and law,” Dawn quoted a statement from Bilawal as saying.

Bilawal is the first chief of political party in Pakistan to stand with the Supreme Court decision. Also, PPP members Sherry Rehman and Farhatullah Babar had earlier hailed the verdict.

Bilawal’s remarks come in the wake of scores of people taking to streets and launching massive protests in opposition to the verdict. Protestors, including workers of political parties, gathered outside the Punjab Assembly after pronouncement of the verdict.

The protests also witnessed violent outbursts as agitators burned tyres in areas of Karachi. The Punjab Home Department had imposed Section 144 in the province from October 31 to November 10 owing to the violence.

Asiya Bibi, a Christian woman, was convicted in a blasphemy case for her alleged comments against Mohammed Prophet during an argument with three Muslim women. Bibi had categorically denied all the allegations against her.

A three-judge special bench headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Justice Mian Saqib Nisar and comprising Justice Asif Saeed Khosa and Justice Mazhar Alam Khan Miankhel heard Bibi’s 2014 appeal against her conviction and death sentence.