The Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Justice Saqib Nisar on Saturday announced that the Supreme Court will hear Asia Bibi’s appeal against her blasphemy case soon. He also gave an order for a restoration of full security provisions to Asia Bibi’s counsel Advocate Said Ul-Malook
Justice Nisar directed the Punjab Inspector General of Police (IG), Capt. (R) Arif Nawaz Khan, to restore the provision of police security to Saif Ul-Malook.
In his remarks, Justice Nisar explained that he personally knows Saif Ul-Malook and stated that he believes that his requests for additional protective security protocol are legitimate.
The Supreme Court had on Friday directed federal and provincial governments to withdraw police protocol provided to unentitled individuals.
Asia’s counsel had requested provision of security since the cases he is in-charge of are sensitive.
Justice Saqib Nisar also confirmed that the apex court, headed by himself, will hear the appeal against the death sentence handed to Asia Bibi in her blasphemy conviction.
Wilson Chowdhry, Chairman of the British Pakistani Christian Association, said:
“This news is heartening but we are still a long way of from justice for Asia Bibi who has suffered great brutality, enforced isolation and daily threats to her life, simply for drinking water from a well designated for Muslims.
“There is no guarantee that Asia Bibi will be set free, and appeal hearing is what it is, it is an opportunity to set down a case for the acquittal for her, but Asia has already failed an appeal in the Lahore High Court.
“The fact that the Chief Justice Saqib Nisar is responsible for the case is encouraging as he recently set up a complaints office for minorities in Lahore Supreme Court and for all intents and purposes seems genuinely committed to helping minority plaintiffs.
“However I will reserve my judgement till the trial is complete and Asia is set free. Only freedom for Asia Bibi would convince me of the integrity of his efforts, as any other decision would simply be malicious.”