Ottawa talking with Pakistan about bringing acquitted Christian to Canada


Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Monday that his government was holding talks with Pakistan over potentially offering asylum to Aasia Bibi, a Christian woman recently freed from prison after her blasphemy conviction was overturned.

He has defended the Supreme Court judges who on October 21 acquitted the 54-year-old mother-of-five of blasphemy charges but has also acquiesced to Islamists that the acquittal be reviewed in an appeal process. The photo is actually of Bibi's daughter from two years ago.

Pakistani government officials have said Bibi is in a secure location while the court considers her case.

However, the government signed an agreement with the Tehrik-e-Labbaik Pakistan protesters and pledged to take steps to stop Bibi from travelling overseas. The lawmaker's constituency is in a deeply conservative region in the country's northwestern.

"We are trying to seek co-operation from Twitter and Facebook against such fake news", Mr Chaudhry added.

Bibi's ordeal dates back to 2009 when she went to fetch water for herself and fellow farmworkers. An argument took place after two Muslim women refused to drink from the same container as Ms Bibi, who is Roman Catholic. Bibi denied the claims but was jailed and sentenced to hang on November 11, 2010.

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Bibi was put on death row for blasphemy in Pakistan nearly ten years ago, following allegations by Muslim women she worked with that she insulted Prophet Mohammed.

The Dutch gave Saif-ul-Malook a temporary stay after he fled Islamabad when violence erupted following the Pakistani Supreme Court's acquittal of Bibi on the charges.

Not long after, Pakistan's minister for minority affairs, Shahbaz Bhatti, was shot dead for making similar remarks.

Pakistani media reported that the embassy had been forced to close because of threats.

According to a statement issued Wednesday night, the Chief Justice said that the properties of people were damaged during the three-day protests after the Supreme Court's decision.

Following Bibi's release, the TLP vowed to return to the streets if she was allowed to leave the country.

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