Canada in talks with Pakistan over possibly taking in Asia Bibi

Pakistan       by Haider Ali | Published

"We are in discussions with the Pakistani government", Mr. Trudeau said in an interview.

Last week, a majority of parties in the Dutch Parliament urged the government to temporarily take charge of Ms Bibi and her family after she was acquitted by Pakistan's Supreme Court of blasphemy charges for which she had been sentenced to death eight years ago.

Her husband has appealed in particular to Britain, Canada and the USA, claiming that Ms. Bibi's life would be in danger as long as she lived in Pakistan.

"They have not offered automatic asylum, whereas several countries have now come forward".

Cameron Ahmad said the government recognizes the delicate domestic context and won't comment further on the case, but he noted Canada is a welcoming country.

The government had also assured the party that it would not oppose a review petition filed against the Supreme Court's judgement in the Aasia Bibi blasphemy case.

Bibi's conviction stemmed from a 2009 incident when she was asked to fetch water while out working in the fields.

Bibi has consistently denied the charges and her prosecution rallied worldwide rights groups, politicians and religious figures.

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Pakistan's Supreme Court acquitted Bibi of a death sentence for allegedly insulting Muhammad last month, triggering violent riots nationwide led by influential Islamist groups.

Mr Chaudhry said the images prompted death threats to Fazal Khan from the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Party.

Pakistan yesterday rubbished rumours about Christian woman Aasia Bibi's travel overseas after her acquittal in a blasphemy case.

Her lawyer, Saiful Mulook, fled to the Netherlands soon after the verdict, citing death threats.

"Asia Bibi has not left Pakistan and she is in the country", a spokesman for the Foreign Office said in a statement.

Since her acquittal and release, she has been threatened amid widespread protests that accelerated her departure from a Lahore prison and her transfer to Islamabad on Wednesday.

Bibi, who was freed from detention last week, is being held at a secret, closely guarded location in Pakistan.

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