Did Economic Pressure Factor Into Pakistan Supreme Court’s Acquittal of Asia Bibi?

Money and trade status may have been factors in the acquittal of Asia Bibi in Pakistan.

Bibi was accused of committing blasphemy in 2009 and later sentenced to death. However, that was based on what International Christian Concern calls “flimsy evidence” following a dispute between Bibi and a group of Muslim coworkers with whom she had been harvesting berries in Sheikhupura. Bibi’s coworkers became angry when she, a Christian woman, drank from the same water bowl as the Muslims. An argument ensued and Bibi’s coworkers told a local cleric that she blasphemed against Muhammad.

On Tuesday, Pakistan’s highest court upheld its acquittal of Bibi, clearing the last legal hurdle freeing her to leave the country.

“It’s really great to see that the Supreme Court of Pakistan has actually resisted pressure from the extremists within the country and has decided to uphold justice for Asia,” says William Stark of International Christian Concern about Bibi’s acquittal.

Stark believes that international warnings involving Pakistan’s aid and trade status were factors in Bibi’s acquittal.

“Senator Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) said that if they did not release Bibi, they would consider or take away from direct aid that Pakistan was receiving,” he explains. “The European Union said that if Pakistan did not release Asia, then Pakistan would lose preferential trade status with the European bloc.”

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SOURCE: One News Now, Chris Woodward