The Supreme Court on Wednesday acquitted Asia Bibi of blasphemy charges, declaring the death penalty handed down to her by a session court null and void.
The verdict on her final appeal against her execution was reserved by a special three-member bench on October 8.
The bench ruled that Asia Bibi be released if she is not facing anymore charges.
The verdict was announced by a special bench headed by Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar at 9am. Justice Asif Saeed Khosa and Justice Mazhar Alam Khan Miankhel were the other members of the bench.
While reserving the verdict after hearing, the top court had restrained both electronic and print media from discussing or commenting on the matter till the final judgement.
Asia Bibi, a Christian accused of blasphemy eight years ago, was awarded death sentence for blaspheming against the Prophet (PBUH).
A case was filed against her by a prayer leader in Katanwala village of Nankana Sahib.
The prayer leader said Asia had confessed to committing blasphemy during an argument with a Muslim woman over a bowl of water. She was convicted and sentenced to death in 2010 and has been in jail ever since.
Security beefed up
Sensitizing the matter, the government has made necessary arrangements of securities for protection of all areas with minority population, places of worship and honorable courts.
Meanwhile, in this connection, the Sindh government has also issued a notification of high alert in the province to avert any untoward incident.
Cellular and internet services would likely be suspended in major cities of the country.
Islamabad Red Zone has also been sealed due to security concerns. The road from Rawal Dam roundabout to Red Zone has also been closed for traffic by placing containers to block the passage.
TLP and other religious parties
Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) and other religious parties have also arranged gatherings in different cities of Pakistan to hear the court’s final judgment on the fate of Asia Bibi. They may call countrywide protest if she was acquitted.
Courtesy: The News International