Minister of State for Interior Shehryar Afridi assured on Wednesday that the federal government will not place Aasia Bibi’s name on the Exit Control List (ECL) unless she is proven guilty of a crime or the court orders them to do so.
The Pakistani government says Asia Bibi and her family are in Pakistan and are being provided complete security by the government, according to VOA.
After the Supreme Court acquitted Aasia Bibi of blasphemy charges on October 31, the government reached a five-point agreement with right wing political party Tehreek Labbaik Pakistan to end the subsequent countrywide protests. One of the points of the agreement was to initiate legal proceedings to add Aasia Bibi’s name to the ECL.
However, the government has yet to take any action to do so.
As part of the agreement, the government said “due process will be followed to immediately include the name of Aasia Bibi in the ECL”. “The government will uphold whatever the Supreme Court decides. No legal action will be taken against her [Aasia Bibi] and her name will not be added to the ECL [unless] she is found guilty of a crime,” said Afridi.
He refuted rumours stating that she had fled the country. “The rumours that are being spread regarding Aasia Bibi going abroad are false,” he clarified.
“Every Pakistani who belongs to any sect or religion is the responsibility of the state of Pakistan and no one can be given the license to play with anyone’s life or property.”
The minister for interior also addressed the arrest of rioters and said that they will be dealt with according to the law. “I assure you there will be no compromise on the supremacy of the law,” he said.
He said that the government had showed footage of the riots to the TLP leadership, who said they didn’t know who the protesters were.