Complainant in Asia Bibi case files review petition, govt distances itself


Islamabad, Nov 01 (TNS): The complainant in the Asia Bibi case, Qari Muhammad Salaam, on Thursday filed a review petition through his counsel Ghulam Mustafa against the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Asia’s conviction in a blasphemy case.

The petitioner has also sought the placement of Asia’s name on the Exit Control List (ECL) till the judgement is reviewed.

Meanwhile, the ruling party has clarified that it has nothing to do with the review petition and it has not placed Asia’s name on the ECL and does not plan to do so, despite rumours circulating to the contrary.

The confusion was exacerbated by the party’s own information minister for Punjab, Fayyazul Hasan Chauhan, who made a statement to this effect on a TV channel.

Earlier on Wednesday, the apex court had acquitted Asia, a Christian mother condemned to death on blasphemy charges, accepting her appeal against her sentencing.

In the review petition, filed at the Lahore registry of the apex court, the complainant has urged the Supreme Court to reconsider yesterday’s decision.

In the petition, it has been argued that the Supreme Court of Pakistan’s acquittal of Asia Bibi did not meet the standards of jurisprudence as well as Islamic provisions and the “normal principle of justice with reference to application in blasphemy laws”.

It has also asked whether the Supreme Court of Pakistan was bound to take into consideration “the nature of the case” and consider all the technical faults in it — especially the inordinate delay in the filing of the First Information Report, the defective investigation — and let them become “a hurdle in the dispensation of justice, in view of the application of blasphemy laws read with judgments of the superior courts.”

It has further asked that a member of the Appellate Shariat Court be included in the bench that reviews the judgement “because this matter needs detailed in-depth consideration and due to the peculiar circumstances of the case as well as Application of Section 295-C in its time letter and spirit.”

It has also challenged the Supreme Court’s dismissal of the alleged ‘confession’ that Asia Bibi was forced to make by the people of her village and argued that the Supreme Court should have applied the Law of Evidence differently in this case.