Pakistan’s top court to decide on Bibi appeal on January 29: Lawyer

ISLAMABAD (AFP) – Pakistan’s Supreme Court will decide on January 29 whether to allow an appeal against its acquittal of a woman at the centre of a blasphemy row, a lawyer involved in the case said yesterday.

If the court refuses to allow the appeal, it will remove the last legal hurdle facing Asia Bibi, who is a prime target in Pakistan and remains in protective custody.

Bibi was on death row for eight years for blasphemy, a hugely sensitive charge.

The Supreme Court’s decision in October last year to overturn her conviction ignited days of violent demonstrations, with some enraged few calling for her beheading, mutiny within the powerful military and the assassination of the country’s top judges.

The government has since launched a crackdown on the Tehreek-e-Labaik Pakistan (TLP) party – the group driving the violent protests – charging its leaders with sedition and terrorism.