The Pakistan Government has buckled under the pressure of obstinate right-wing Tehreek-e-Labbaik and ulema (body of orthodox Muslim scholars) by engaging in conciliation to put an end to the countrywide protests following Aasia Bibi’s Supreme Court acquittal in a Blasphemy case.
Both sides settled upon a five-point agreement, as per Pakistani daily Dawn, that prevents the Pakistan Government from demurring the petition filed against the acquittal. The anti-Aasia groups have also demanded her name be put on the Exit Control List, a border control Ordinance that would confine the Christian woman from absconding Pakistan.
The overturning of the death penalty verdict tore Pakistan into an obdurate domination of religio-political radicalism suffocating the voices of the liberals. Tahreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) the Islamic political party embracing conservative ideologies triggered protests that lasted for three days.
As per news agency ANI, Nadeem Nusrat, Chairman of Voice of Karachi, pointed out how the Pakistan Government is gradually losing grounds to the whelm of religious extremist groups. He further mentioned how Pakistan found its image to be “already-maligned” globally.
Nusrat further applauded the ‘courageous’ decision of the Pakistani Supreme Court to revoke the death sentence of Aasia Bibi, blamed of blasphemy. He detailed how the law of blasphemy is exploited into consistently mauling the nation’s religious minority.
He also asserted that the protests following the Supreme Court's verdict posed stern questions about the Pakistani Military’s desire to tackle extremism.
Drawing from details of the protests, he mentioned how mobs of vehement vigilantes took over the streets, setting impetuous fire to vehicles, and shops, not discriminating between public and private property. Public death threats were issued to the judges, Pakistan army was encouraged to kill their Officers and despite these acts of violent lawlessness, the Pakistan Military became a mute spectator of a shredding Pakistan. This is the same defense force that has not thought twice before crushing the peaceful protests of ethnic Mohajirs, Balochs and Pashtuns.
Nusrat concluded that the Pakistan establishment's control is slipping, like sand through the grip of religious extremism, with complete backing from the Pakistan military.
The current state of Pakistan following the upheaval is -
1. The lawyer of Aasia Bibi fled the country frightened for his life following the death threats.
2. Aasia Bibi’s husband has sought asylum for the family to the United Kingdom, fearing for their lives. He deplores the decision of Imran Khan’s Government to make a deal with violent, religious protestors.
3. Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan is on a visit to China.