Pakistan’s prime minister, Imran Khan, this evening urged the nation not to let a fraction of people incite them to take the law into their own hands over the decision of the Supreme Court to release a Christian woman who had been facing the death penalty for blasphemy.
The security situation in Pakistan has dramatically deteriorated since 9.35 this morning, when the Supreme Court announced its verdict that Asia Bibi’s conviction was to be quashed because of a lack of evidence. Since then Christians in Pakistan and people in general are quite fearful for their safety.
Last night, as rumours of the pending ruling emerged, Islamist political party Tehreek-e-Labaik Pakistan asked its members to gather, even if it meant they may be arrested or even killed by the state. When the decision came, a good number of TLP members were already stationed at important crossroads and buildings to launch their protests, which erupted in all major cities. Schools, colleges and universities were closed as the news spread.