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‘We are here to serve justice,” CJP on Asia Bibi case

ISLAMABAD: Giving his remarks after the Asia Bibi case judgment, Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar says “we are not just the judges for Muslims, but for the entire Pakistan,” ARY News reported.

The Chief Justice expressed the remarks while hearing federal government’s plea regarding the appointment of a new IGP of Islamabad.

The CJP said the judges who announced the verdict in Asia Bibi case were no less ‘Aashiq-e-Rasool’ (lovers of the Prophet) than ones protesting on streets. “One must go through the verdict, it’s mentioned that our faith is incomplete without the love of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).”

We are, he said, ready to render sacrifice for the love of Prophet, adding the courts were supposed to mete out justice.

“Should we punish a person even his/her crime hasn’t been proved,” asked the CJP.

He quoted the prime minister’s statement that maintaining law and order was the responsibility of the state. “The state must now fulfill its responsibility.”

The Supreme Court on Wednesday set aside the conviction of Asia Bibi, the Christian woman condemned to death for blasphemy.

Mr. Nisar read out the verdict, exonerating Asia Bibi from blasphemy charges and ordering her immediate release if she was not wanted in another case.

“The appeal is allowed. She has been acquitted. The judgment of high court as well as trial court is reversed. Her conviction is set aside,” said the top judge.

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.

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