News Analysis |
It is not the legality of arrest or release of Aasia Bibi that is bothering the nation, but the fact that she has been released under a deal with the West, says Maulana Fazlur Rehman, president of the Mutahidda Majlis-i-Amal (MMA).
Addressing the “million march,” which was very thinly attended when compared to the ‘figure’ mentioned in its title, he said the way the West had been celebrating the release of Aasia Bibi “showed the reality of the issue”.
“If Aasia Bibi’s release is only a legal decision, why is there flood of personal praises directed at the CJP and Imran Khan? It only proves that the decision was taken under a deal, which is now being praised in the West. What kind of legal decision is this which is being celebrated by the West and has caused anxiety in the Ummah?,” the Maulana thundered.
The TLP is notorious for spreading anarchy and violence in the name of avenging blasphemy.
The call for the march was given by the All (religious) Parties Tahafuz-i-Namoos-i-Risalat. Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi has said that Aasia Bibi, who has been acquitted of a blasphemy charge by the Supreme Court, cannot leave the country because of the pending review of her case before the court.
Read more: Fact-check: Did Aasia Bibi meet the Pope?
“She is here. A review petition is being heard, so how can she go,” Mr. Qureshi said while talking to journalists on Wednesday. There was speculation after Aasia’s release from jail last week that she might go abroad in view of security threats.
Asia Bibi was acquitted by Supreme Court on 31st October that led to violent protest across the country in the leadership of TLP. Public and state properties were set ablaze, routine business was halted, and institutes were accused.
What kind of legal decision is this which is being celebrated by the West and has caused anxiety in the Ummah?,” the Maulana thundered.
The protests only ended after the dialogue between the state and leaders of TLP. One of the clauses of the agreement was to put Asia Bibi’s name on the Exit Control List. Although the legalities of that are in question, News had been circulating in media that Asia Bibi had left the country as she was released from Multan Jail on Nov 8.
Read more: Aasia cannot leave Pakistan due to pending review: Qureshi
Not only national but international media too disseminated misinformation related to the sensitive matter of Asia Bibi as the news contradicted the agreement, GVS reported earlier. Foreign office and information minister issued a statement denying the news reports, urging media to be responsible, as such fake news could lead to protests again.
The Asia Bibi case has brought out a dangerous faultline in the society where religious sentiments are used for violence and politics. The TLP is notorious for spreading anarchy and violence in the name of avenging blasphemy.
While some have blamed the government for caving into extremists, others have praised the government to have avoided bloodshed and used the cool down period after the protests to isolate and arrest violent elements.