FO dismisses reports of Aasia Bibi leaving the country

November 8, 2018

ISLAMABAD: The Foreign Office on Thursday denied reports that Aasia Bibi had left Pakistan and said she was still present in the country.

Speaking to The Express Tribune, FO Spokesperson Mohammad Faisal denied Aasia Bibi was flown out of Pakistan and urged the media to be responsible. She will not be flown out of the country until the judgment on the review petition.

The denial by the FO comes after media reports suggested that the recently acquitted Christian woman had left for the Netherlands along with her family in the wee hours of Thursday.

Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry also denied the reports and said the case was a sensitive issue and the media should act responsibly. Aasia was shifted from Multan jail to the federal capital amid heavy security exactly one week after the country’s top court acquitted her of blasphemy charges. She was taken to Islamabad in a private plane

“She has been freed,” lawyer Saiful Mulook confirmed in a text message to AFP. “I have been told that she is on a plane but nobody knows where she will land.” “Asia Bibi has left the prison and has been transferred to a safe place!” tweeted Antonio Tajani, president of the European Parliament.

Meanwhile Foreign Office Spokesperson Dr. Mohammad Faisal has said that Pakistan has taken note of the first “deterrence” patrol of the Indian nuclear submarine and the self-congratulatory messages in India.

Speaking at his weekly briefing in Islamabad on Thursday, he said this development marks the first actual deployment of ready to fire nuclear warheads in South Asia which is a matter of concern not only for the Indian Ocean littoral states but also for the international community at large.

He said the bellicose language employed by the top Indian leadership highlights the threats to strategic stability in South Asia and raises questions about responsible nuclear stewardship in India.

He said the increased frequency of missile tests by India, aggressive posturing and deployment of nuclear weapons calls for an assessment of the non-proliferation benefits resulting from the Indian membership of the Missile Technology Control Regime.

The spokesperson said Pakistan is committed to the objective of the strategic stability in South Asia and believes that the only way forward for both the countries is to agree on measures for nuclear and missile restraint. At the same time no one should be in doubt about Pakistan’s resolve and capabilities to meet the challenges posed by the latest developments both in the nuclear and conventional realms in South Asia. Agencies