Asia Bibi case: Minister rejects reports of crackdown

ISLAMABAD, NOV 01: Chaudhry Fawad, Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting addressing press conference.=DNA PHOTO

ISLAMABAD (DNA) – : Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry has denied the social media reports that a crackdown has been launched against the protesters staging sit-ins across the country against the acquittal of Asia Bibi.The minister said that law and order situation is under control and state will ensure protection of life and liberty of the people.

In a social media statement, he said the government wants to avoid violence and till the last moment, its option would be peaceful end of the issue.

Minister for religious Affairs Noor-ul-Haq Qadri is holding talks with the protesters and another round of talks is expected today, he further added.

The supporters of an ultra-Islamist party have blocked roads in major cities for a third day on Friday in protest.

Knots of protesters from Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan blocked roughly 10 roads in Karachi and others in Lahore.

Private schools in both cites were shut, as well as in the capital. Mobile phone services in Islamabad, Lahore, Rawalpindi and Gujranwala are also suspended.

The demonstrators were protesting the Supreme Court’s decision on Wednesday to free Asia Bib, a mother of four, who had been living on death row since 2010, as the first woman sentenced to death by hanging under Pakistan´s tough blasphemy laws.

Bibi was accused of making derogatory remarks about Islam after neighbours objected to her drinking water from their glass because she was not Muslim.

But a three-judge panel set up to hear the appeal, headed by Chief Justice Sahib Nissan, ruled the evidence was insufficient.