70 British MPs push PM Theresa May for Asia Bibi’s asylum

  • UK must stand up to its moral obligation to do the right thing: MPs
Pakistan

LONDON – As many as 70 members of the United Kingdom’s Parliament have written to British Prime Minister Theresa May, urging her to offer political asylum to Asia Bibi.

Member of the Parliament (MP) Atta-Ur-Rehman Chishti has written that he met with Aasia’s husband and daughter in London ahead of the verdict by Pakistan’s Supreme Court.

According to Chishti, the family had said that they were considering seeking asylum in the UK.

“UK must stand up to its moral obligation to do the right thing,” he wrote.

The letter asks the UK government to ‘provide asylum to Aasia Bibi and her family if and when a request is made through appropriate channels by taking into account the exceptional circumstances of this case’.

Govt says Asia Bibi’s name not to be put on ECL until proven guilty

The request states that the decision to offer asylum will be in line with the UK’s own moral commitment to human rights and religious freedom.

MPs Rehman Chishti, Boris Johnson, Owen Paterson, Sammy Wilson, Jim Shannon, Richard Graham, David Drew, Stewart McDonald, Lord Astor and Baroness Nuala O’Loan among others have signed the letter.

The request came after it was reported that the British authorities had denied asylum to Asia Bibi on account of threats to diplomatic missions abroad.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau had also expressed that he was in consultation with Pakistan for Asia’s asylum.

Asia Bibi was acquitted by the Supreme Court last month in a blasphemy case on grounds that the prosecution failed to prove its case.

Protests were staged across Pakistan against the decision of the apex court. the protesters asked the supreme court to reverse its decision.

The three-day long demonstrations ended after Tehreek-e-Labbaik signed an agreement with the government.

Pakistan’s foreign office has clarified that Asia Bibi was released from Multan prison, however, she was still in the country despite media reports that she had left the country.