Government delaying Asia Bibi case hearing to Pardon Geo TV blasphemer; PCP Report

Government delaying Asia Bibi case hearing to Pardon Geo TV blasphemer; PCP Report

Lahore: May 27, 2014. (PCP) The sources close to Law Ministry of Pakistan told Pakistan Christian Post today that Asia Bibi appeal hearing will not be brought before Division Bench of Lahore High Court until Pardon to Mir Shakeel Ur Rehman, Dr. Shaishta Lodhi, Vena Malik, Asad Khatak and other staff of Geo TV Chanel who are facing over a dozen cases of blasphemy in different Police Stations of Pakistan on committing blasphemy against family members of Holy Prophet Mohammad in a show which was watched by millions.

Today, hearing of appeal of Asia Bibi against her death sentence on accusation of blasphemy was set before Division Bench of Lahore High Court on May 4, 2014, for May 27, 2014, but when case list was hoisted in court room, there was no mention of her appeal.

Pakistan Christian Post when contacted Registrar office of Lahore High Court, it was revealed that Pakistan Government and Government of Punjab is pressuring Attorney General of LHC not put forward appeal hearing of Asia Bibi.

In Morning Show of Geo TV, the host of Show Shashita Lodhi committed blasphemy on which viewers lodged a strong protest and cases were registered against owner of Geo TV Chanel in different cities of Pakistan under Section 295 C PPC and 298 PPC.

The government of Pakistan stepped forward to protect Geo TV and Muslims named in cases of blasphemy on which 30 Muslim clerics issued Decree that if any Muslim commits blasphemy but apologies of his or her act then charges of blasphemy cannot be pressed and Pardon is Islamic act.

The Law Ministry of Pakistan sources told PCP that if Lahore High Court upholds sentence of Asia Bibi then Pardon for Mir Shakeel and other Geo TV staff will be difficult, so, Asia Bibi case hearing will not be held before Pardon to these Muslim media person.

Asia Bibi was sentenced to death on witness of one person under Section of 295 B and C of PPC which these Muslims are facing in FIR,s lodged against them;

Meanwhile, CLAAS UK, issues following press release; Once again Aasia Bibi’s court hearing has been postponed. Aasia has been death row since 2010 and during the recent months her court hearing has been postponed three times. Her last hearing was due on April 14 but CLAAS lawyers were told that her case had been moved to Islamabad division Bench, and a date was set for May 27.

But now we have been informed that her court hearing has been cancelled again and no new date has been set.

Aasia Bibi was charged under the blasphemy law in 2009 for insulting the prophet Mohammad but she denies the charges which were brought against her by her colleagues working in the farms.

During the recent months several cases have been registered, while Rashid Rehman, a lawyer defending blasphemy victim Junaid Hafeez was killed in his office.

He had earlier been threatened in the presence of judge for not stopping defending Hafeez, a lecturer of Bahauddin Zakariya University.

In another case 68 lawyers were charged under blasphemy law, while a 65-year-old man charged under the blasphemy law was killed by a teenager while being held in police custody.

Around two weeks ago the owner of Pakistani channel GEO TV, and the host of Utho Jago Pakistan, Dr Shaista Lodhi, and her guests on the show were charged under the blasphemy law. Dr Shaista has apologised but there is dispute among the Ulemas about whether she should be pardoned.

As this news was being written I received an email from my Ahmadi friend that minority member Dr. Mehdi Ali, a cardiac surgeon from Ohio, USA, who was volunteering in Pakistan, had been killed.

The chief justice of Pakistan during a recent court hearing of the suo motu case of the bomb blast in a Peshawar church last year, where at least 85 Christians were killed, and more than 100 were injured, remarked that according to the Pakistan Penal Code’s (PPC) Article 295 “offence” against any religion falls under the blasphemy law.

Chief Justice Jillani said that the apex court would “share the grievances of the minorities” and can direct establishment of a “new force” to safeguard the minorities”.

He also expressed his anger over the non-registration of cases against those involved in setting temples ablaze in Sindh. Justice Jillani told the minorities’ representatives that due to the importance of the case the apex court would appoint amicus curiae – Munir A Malik, Khawaja Haris and Hassan Aurangzaib – who would assist the court in the matter without charging any fee.

He directed the minorities’ representatives to submit a report which should indicate sections where the material has been used to abuse the minorities, and identify areas where law enforcing agencies failed to secure their life and property.

Nasir Saeed, Director of CLAAS-UK, has welcomed the chief justice’s concern and said it must be of some comfort to the minorities, undoubtedly raising their hopes and helping to restore their faith in the courts.

It is widely believed that blasphemy laws not only protect the veneration of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) Islamic personage, etc but justice Jillani has reinterpreted the law and nobody can deviate from it.

Mr Saeed said: “This interpretation can be helpful to stop further attacks and fire being set to churches and temples. It is now up to Christian political and religious leadership as to how they take this interpretation and what course of action they take to protect their places of worship.

“Since the chief justice seems sincere in providing justice to the minorities it is time for the minorities to use this opportunity wisely.”

He further said the misuse of the blasphemy law is dangerously on the increase and creating chaos in the country. Since the Chief justice has realised the perils of the blasphemy law, the Pakistani government should also recognize the situation, bring changes and introduce safeguards immediately.

About The Voice Of Bombay's Catholic Laity

Bombay Laity Ezekiel’s Chapter 3 Task as Watchman 17 “Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the people of Israel; so hear the word I speak and give them warning from me. 18 When I say to a wicked person, ‘You will surely die,’ and you do not warn them or speak out to dissuade them from their evil ways in order to save their life, that wicked person will die for[b] their sin, and I will hold you accountable for their blood. 19 But if you do warn the wicked person and they do not turn from their wickedness or from their evil ways, they will die for their sin; but you will have saved yourself.
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One Response to Government delaying Asia Bibi case hearing to Pardon Geo TV blasphemer; PCP Report

  1. Let us thank the ALMIGHTY that we in India are living in a DEMOCRACY ?????????????

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