Asia Bibi cleared of blasphemy, soon leaves Pakistan: Reports

Asia Bibi cleared of blasphemy, soon leaves Pakistan: Reports

Agency News

Islamabad: A Pakistani Christian woman who spent eight years on death row over false blasphemy charges, Asia Bibi, has left the country, her lawyer and media said on Wednesday.

She was acquitted by Pakistan's top court six months before. She has already left for Canada, Bibi's lawyer, Saif Ul Malook was quoted by Reuters as saying.

Pakistani TV channels Geo and ARY, citing unidentified sources, also reported Bibi had left the country. Pakistan's foreign ministry did not respond to requests for comment.

Bibi’s life story in Pakistan was shared globally and evoked widespread response. She was a farm worker and a mother of four, and convicted in 2010 for making derogatory remarks about Islam. The source of her anger was the denial of drinking water by her Muslim neighbours and did not allow her to drink water from their glass as Bibi was a non-Muslim.

Her case has outraged Christians worldwide and been a source of division within Pakistan, where two politicians who sought to help her were assassinated, including Punjab province governor Salman Taseer, who was shot by his own bodyguard.

Bibi's release in October sparked rioting by hardline Islamists, who rejected the Supreme Court's verdict and warned Prime Minister Imran Khan's government that she must not be allowed to leave the country.