Aasia’s case registered on personal enmity: report
ISLAMABAD: Minorities Minister Shahbaz Bhatti on Thursday presented a report to President Asif Ali Zardari in the case of Aasia Bibi, who has been convicted and sentenced to death under Section 295B and C of PPC.
The report, accompanying supporting documents, has concluded that the blasphemy case against Aasia Bibi had been registered on grounds of personal enmity and the story narrated in the FIR was concocted and malafide. The report recommended pardon for Aasia Bibi and suspension of the sentence. It also recommended provision of security to Aasia Bibi in jail and to her family.
Shahbaz Bhatti, while presenting the report, said the people belonging to minorities as a marginalised community knew fully well the consequences of blasphemy and could never think of committing the offence.
He said minorities had a great respect for all the Holy Prophets and the Holy Books and could not imagine doing blasphemous acts. He said before the introduction of the blasphemy law in its present form by General Ziaul Haq, not a single case of blasphemy had ever surfaced in Pakistan against the minorities. But after the promulgation of the law by General Zia, hundreds of non-Muslims had been wrongly involved in blasphemy cases.
“Many of them have been killed without recourse to the judicial process and while many others fled the country but no action has been taken against the culprits,” he added. President Zardari asked Minorities Minister Shahbaz Bhatti to propose names for a committee of scholars and experts to recommend reformed procedures so as to effectively prevent the misuse of the blasphemy law for personal and political reasons.
“The committee, to be headed by the minister for minorities, should draw up its recommendations in consultation with political parties and stakeholders for the consideration of the government,” he said.
Presidential Spokesman Farhatullah Babar quoted the president as saying that the government would not allow anyone to misuse the blasphemy law and would take all appropriate measures, whether administrative, procedural or legislative, to stop the growing incidents of misuse of the blasphemy law.