News Desk |
The Director-General (DG) of Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor made it clear on Friday that Pakistan Army had nothing to do with Asia Bibi case. He was speaking to PTV News when he said that the protestors in Lahore and across the country were falsely accusing Pakistan army of the acquittal of Ms. Asia. “Unfortunately, the army is dragged into every matter,” he said when asked about anti-military statements issued by protesters.
“This is a legal matter and it is sad that negative statements are being issued against the army.” The DG ISPR was referring to recent speeches made by the leaders of the TLP in Lahore. Khadim Rizvi-led protesters had urged the army to revolt against its chief after the acquittal of Ms. Asia from the Supreme Court of Pakistan.
The protests have been called off now. But the government is facing severe criticism for not being able to maintain its earlier stance against religious fanaticism.
Gen. Ghafoor also maintained that the case of Ms. Asia was being dealt with by the judiciary for last eight years. “There is no point to blame the armed forces for her acquittal. Everyone should follow the legal path,” he asserted.
Analysts argue that the statements issued by the protesters and their leaders are highly condemnable and they must be trialed for whatever they have said. Some users on social media also suggested starting high treason proceeding against Mr. Rizvi and Pir Afzal Qadri who have used abusive language against the state institutions.
According to details, Asia Bibi, a Christian woman and a death-row prisoner was convicted of blasphemy in Nov 2010. Media reports suggest that in June 2009, Aasia was involved in an argument with a group of women. Subsequently, she was accused of blasphemy (she allegedly insulted Islam and used derogatory words against the scared personalities). In 2010, a lower court after listening to the arguments from both sides and looking into the available evidence awarded her the capital punishment.
Khadim Rizvi-led protesters had urged the army to revolt against its chief after the acquittal of Ms. Asia from the Supreme Court of Pakistan.
In 2014, the Lahore High Court (LHC) upheld her death sentence despite criticism from some segments of civil society and international media. However, the apex court had issued a stay order on her execution in July 2015. The stay order was issued by the top court since the case had become controversial and complex which demanded more deliberation to be concluded.
On 31st November the SC acquitted her and reversed the orders of the lower courts. After the Supreme Court of Pakistan acquitted Ms. Asia Bibi supporters of the TLP took to the street and main roads in Lahore, Islamabad and Karachi and sealed off the cities. The leaders of the TLP and other religious parties reportedly demanded the resignation of the Judges who were part of a three-member bench, the Prime Minister and suspension of the verdict of the top court.
Finally, on the eve of Friday, the government was able to sign an agreement with the TLP. The protests have been called off now. But the government is facing severe criticism for not being able to maintain its earlier stance against religious fanaticism. Critics are of the opinion that letting go violent protestors and their leaders will pave ways for other opportunist religiopolitical parties to exploit the situation as it suits them. However, the government has said that it was imperative to restore peace and order in the country which led to this agreement.