Asia Bibi should be given maximum protection in Pakistan: Chief Justice of Pakistan on asylum row

Asia Bibi with the Pakistani politician Salman Taseer. Taseer, then the governor of Punjab, was assassinated — he was shot by his own bodyguard — in 2011 for voicing support for Bibi. Photograph:( Reuters )

WION Web Team New Delhi, Delhi, India Nov 22, 2018, 09.50 AM (IST)

Chief Justice of Pakistan on Wednesday said that Asia Bibi should not be given asylum in the UK as it is "duty of the state to protect the life and property of its citizens.", local media reported.

Justice Nisar who is in London for a nine-day trip to raise funds for the Diamer-Bhasha dam, made the comments while he was interacting with media after the event. 

He was asked whether Asia Bibi, a Pakistan Christian acuitted of capital blasphemy charges, should be given asylum in London to which he responded saying, "As far as the protection is concerned, I don’t think she should be given asylum … because it’s the duty of the state to protect the life and property of its citizens and if she is sent abroad it means that the state of Pakistan has failed," Geo tv quoted him as saying.

"She should be given maximum protection in Pakistan," Justice Nisar added.

The CJP further said that the government of Pakistan has to act strong or there will be no end of such cases which will show the failure of the state.

He further said that safeguarding Asia Bibi is the responsibility of the government.

Bibi, 53, was convicted of blasphemy in 2010 over allegations she made derogatory remarks about Islam after neighbours objected to her drinking water from their glass because she was not Muslim. The Supreme Court acquitted her last month.

She and her family are staying at a safe house in Pakistan, despite offers of asylum from countries including Canada.