Supreme Court of Pakistan acquitted Aasia Bibi- a Christian citizen who was sentenced to death in 2010 for allegedly committing blasphemy.
The case had gained an international recognition after ex-governor Punjab Salman Taseer had pleaded a retrial and was gunned down by his own guard Mumtaz Qadri.
Supreme Court’s Verdict on Aasia Bibi’s Acquittal
A three judges bench comprising Chief Justice Saqib Nisar, Justice Asif Saeed Khosa and Justice Alam Khan Miankhel gave a verdict on the case. Chief Justice who headed the bench had authored the judgment and reserved it on October 8.
The 56-pages long verdict set aside the Lahore High Court’s judgment according to which Aasia Bibi was convicted of committing blasphemy. The apex court acquitted the accused and asked to set her free if she was not being tried or convicted in any other case.
Reaction to Aasia Bibi’s Verdict
There was a panic among civil society members the day before the judgment. High-level security was deployed within Supreme Court premises. When the judgment came, a majority of citizens (as reflected through social media opinions) embraced it and thanked that an accused was saved from punishment.
It is to be noted that committing blasphemy is an unpardonable fence. But according to stats, no one has ever been convicted of this crime. And, in most of the cases, people were accused of blasphemy just for taking revenge. Further, radical segments of society of misuse blasphemy laws of Pakistan just for political gains.
In light of this situation, citizens welcomed the Supreme Court’s verdict of Aasia Bibi’s case and thanked that she was not given capital punishment merely on the basis of false accusations.
Justice finally has been served. Now people can bark all they want but the fact is that in this day and age you cannot get away with persecuting people in the name of religion. Well done Pakistan Supreme Court. #AasiaBibi
— Yasser Latif Hamdani (@theRealYLH) October 31, 2018
Pakistan Peoples Party Senator Sherry Rehman called it a landmark judgment by Supreme Court.
Landmark judgement by Supreme Court to acquit #AasiaBibi today.False accusers took half her life away. Now the state must protect all those who stand for the rule of law and justice.We have all been witness to the havoc mobs have wreaked to red lines before.That line must be held
— SenatorSherryRehman (@sherryrehman) October 31, 2018
Showbiz celebrities like Mahira Khan also welcomed the Supreme Court’s ruling in this case.
May we always be ruled by the law of humanity. Pakistan Zindabad #AasiaBibi
— Mahira Khan (@TheMahiraKhan) October 31, 2018
A similar reaction came from journalists like Asima Sherazi and Sana Bucha who seemed happy at the prospect that justice had finally prevailed.
— Asma Shirazi (@asmashirazi) October 31, 2018
The SCP has done its job. Now it’s time for the state to act responsibly. And the media. #AasiaBibi case is a sensitive issue in a country that runs high on religious sentiment that can be misdirected. Case in point: @salmantaseer Let a mother return home. Safely.
— Sana Bucha (@sanabucha) October 31, 2018
They were happy what seemed impossible had finally happened.
The Justices have shown mettle. Who would have honestly thought this was even possible anymore after needlessly losing Salman Taseer, Shahbaz Bhatti.
Now the state must not let the bench down.
Dont supplicate, negotiate. Put your foot down and right this ship. #aasiabibi
— Fasi Zaka (@fasi_zaka) October 31, 2018
They are calling that those who maligned her in false accusations must be held accountable. Aasia has already served imprisonment for at least one decade.
#AasiaBibi 's acquittal means she was innocent. Her being innocent means she was #falslyAccused. False accusation is supposed to be punishable by law.. which was tabled and taken back! #Justice cannot be complete without it serving as a deterrent.
— afia salam (@afiasalam) October 31, 2018
The State Should Balance 295 C
Nadeem Farooq Paracha a veteran journalist pointed out an observation of the Supreme Court’s verdict and emphasized that lawmakers must work to balance article 295 C so that no one can malign any person on the basis of fake accusations.
Well, the process of such balance, even if lawmakers choose for it can be tricky because of irrational and self-righteous clerics who stop sanity to prevail.
An important observation made by SC in its detailed verdict. It has advised the state to balance §295C. This is a justified suggestion which will discourage false accusations. Are the elected lawmakers prepared to heed to this advice; or will they continue to quietly capitulate? pic.twitter.com/1BkZ8IMLco
— Nadeem Farooq Paracha (@NadeemfParacha) October 31, 2018