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Talks underway with protesters to resolve matter amicably: Shehryar Afridi

ISLAMABAD: Minister of State for Interior Shehryar Afridi said on Thursday said negotiations were underway with the protesters to resolve the matter amicably.

“The nation will soon hear good news in this regard,” he said in a confident tone while addressing the National Assembly session adding that the government did not want use of force against the protestors.

He, however, said that no compromise would be made on the writ of the state and dictation of any sort would not be accepted.

The minister of state categorically stated that nobody would be allowed to establish state within the state under the garb of religion in ‘Naya Pakistan’.

Afridi said it was the responsibility of the state to protect the followers of every religion and sect. He also assured that full protection will be provided to Asia Bibi and judges. He also appreciated the statement of Pakistan Peoples Party Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari in support of supremacy of law.

“The government will also sit with the opposition parties to take them into confidence on the current situation,” he said.

Taking floor, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari urged all political parties to demonstrate responsibility in the current situation as the country could not afford more tragedies.

Read More: Fawad Chaudhry slams violent protests, says review petition the legal way

He said it was time to develop consensus to address the challenges faced by the country including the current law and order situation. He said we stand for democracy, rule of law and justice. He expressed the confidence that the sitting government will seriously fulfill its responsibilities.

Demanding from the government to tackle the situation amicably, Abdul Shakoor of Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl said the sanctity of Holy Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) is very dear to all Muslims. He said love for the last Prophet is part of our faith.

Javed Latif of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz said force should not be used against the protesters and the current situation should be addressed through negotiations. He said deterioration of situation will not be in the country’s interest.

Asia Bibi Case

The Supreme Court on Wednesday set aside the conviction of Asia Bibi, a Christian woman condemned to death for blasphemy. This verdict came on an appeal filed by the woman challenging her capital punishment.

Asia Bibi, a mother of five, had been on death row since 2010, when Pope Benedict XVI joined in international calls for her release.

In 2015 her daughter met with Pope Francis, who as the head of the Catholic Church offered prayers for her mother.

Ms Bibi was arrested after three women went to a local cleric in Sheikhupura, to report her and the trial court convicted and sentenced her to death.

She appealed to the Lahore High Court, which upheld the decision in October 2014, with the case ending up at the Supreme Court.

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