In Pakistan, one thing is very clear if you want to kill someone and don’t want to get arrested, label the crime with Blasphemy. It works like the “Law of the Jungle” and not that of a civilized world. There are so many brutal murders which have been attributed to blasphemy though most of them were either revenge killings or the victims dared to point their finger at the social fault lines.
Most of the victims of the blasphemy cases have been the minorities, done under a design to avoid International rebuke. In all these scandals Christians have been always on the receiving end. However, Imran Khan’s government seems to be on the back foot in the case of Aasiya Noreen a Pakistani Christian woman commonly known as Asia Bibi. She has been put on the death row by a District Court in its decision of 2010. Her only fault was ‘She drank water with the same cup meant for Muslim girls’.
Pakistan releases Afghan Taliban founder Mullah Baradar… but wants to execute Asia Bibi – a Christian girl who drank water from the same cup as Muslims. I say we deport Pakistani Ambassadors immediately until their Jihadi government behaves itself. https://t.co/3E4b8KgPxh
— Imam of Peace (@Imamofpeace) October 26, 2018
Notorious Blasphemy Laws of Pakistan
As per Mr. Audrey Gaughran, Director of Global Issues in Amnesty International, “There is no denying that Pakistan’s blasphemy laws violate human rights and encourage people to take the law into their own hands.” In plain language, it provides the perpetrators virtually a license to commit a cold bloody murder as blasphemy is a crime which is punishable by death.
And therefore Asia Bibi stands condemned to be dead as the Lahore High Court too upheld the decision of District Court in 2014. However, the global criticism has kept her alive till date and it is good to see the support pouring in to save her. Even former Pope Benedict XVI had called for the charges against her to be dismissed but the radicals in Pakistan do not seem to relent and are on the warpath with the authorities to ensure Asia Bibi is executed.
Pakistan has been declared as the world’s fifth-worst country for Christians to live in, owing to the persecution they face there, worse than even Saudi Arabia, Yemen, and Egypt. As per the existing report of a Pakistani Human Rights group, since 1990, more than 62 people have been killed in the wake of blasphemy allegations. Apart from the victims of such laws, lawyers and judges trying to defend Asia have all intimidation and threats from religious, extremists and hardliners who have declared that those who exonerate Asia Bibi will be considered as blasphemers themselves. So if Asia Bibi is executed then she may become the first woman ever to be executed under the blasphemy law.
The plight of Minorities in Pakistan
Their plight has not been hidden to the world. The case of Asia Bibi has become a glaring symbol of how minorities are brutally treated in Pakistan government under the constant pressure from radicals and extremists organizations. It is the result of this religious fanaticism that accused of blasphemy; Asia Bibi, a Christian mother of five, has been languishing on a death row in Lahore since 2010 for drinking water, from a cup, meant for Muslims.
The matter is now with the Supreme Court in Pakistan, whose indecisiveness is a clear indication how hostility and vague blasphemy laws have enabled persecution of minorities in Pakistan.
However, Asia denies committing any blasphemy. In her biography, Blasphemy: A Memoir, she mentions: “I haven’t done anything. Please, I beg you, I’ve done nothing wrong.” But would anyone care to listen?
30 Oct 2018/Tuesday. Written by Azadazraq