SC delays Aasia Bibi blasphemy appeal


Staff Reporter

Islamabad—Supreme Court on Thursday adjourned the hearing of Aasia Bibi’s final appeal against her execution in a blasphemy case for an indefinite period.
A three-bench headed by Justice Mian Saqib Nisar adjourned the hearing for an indefinite period after Justice Iqbal Hameed ur Rehman recused himself from the case. “I was a part of the bench that was hearing the case of Salmaan Taseer, and this case is related to that,” he told the court. The court did not immediately set a new date for the appeal.
Speaking to the media, Bibi’s lawyer Saif-ul-Mulook claimed that he has been receiving threats and hoped that the government would take it seriously.
Following the court’s decision, Ghulam Mustafa Chaudhry, counsel for the complainant against Aasia Bibi said, “We are not pressurising the court, we are ready to accept the court’s decision.”
A senior police official told media that up to 3,000 forces were deployed over the capital.
Additional troops were deployed on checkpoints and city junctions in general. There was also deployment of paramilitary force Rangers and FC (Frontier Corps) on some additional points.
Up to 100 officers, many in riot gear, were stationed outside the Supreme Court in Islamabad Thursday as Bibi’s lawyer and husband arrived for the hearing the case.
Bibi was convicted and sentenced to hang in 2010 after an argument with a Muslim woman over a bowl of water. Her supporters maintain her innocence and insist it was a personal dispute.
But successive appeals have been rejected, and if the Supreme Court bench upholds Bibi’s conviction, her only recourse will be a direct appeal to the president for clemency.