In a private meeting with Wilson Chowdhry, Chairman of the British Pakistani Christian Association the First Minister at the Pakistan High Commission in
London, assured him that the Supreme Court of Pakistan is likely to fix a date for the appeal case against blasphemy charges against Asia Bibi before
the end of March this year.
This assurance from the Pakistani High Commission came prior to protest led by Christian charity British Pakistani Christian Association.
During the protest outside the Pakistani High Commission and 10 Downing street the Government of Pakistan was urged to hold a fair trial for Asia Bibi
and to protect Asia and her family and the judiciary. The UK Government was urged to intervene for the release of the now extremely desperate Asia
Bibi who has been on death row for seven years and is forced to live in isolation for her own safety.
Christians based in the United Kingdom and others participated in the London protest which is the first of four protests across the UK. BPCA believes
these protests will be the last opportunities for British people of good conscience to campaign for a just verdict via Pakistan's failing judiciary.
Chairman of BPCA Wilson Chowdhry said:
“I met with the First Minister at The Pakistan High Commission last Friday and he has kindly informed me that a trial date for Asia’s appeal is sure to be fixed before the end of March.
“We organized the protests across the UK to galvanize support for Asia in the west. Its clear by the huge numbers of protesters calling for her hanging in Pakistan, that most Pakistani’s want her dead.
"A judge retired from his position after refusing to preside over her case in a court debacle when he stated the reason for the adjournment was a conflict of interest.
“We want Asia to know the world is following her case and supports her freedom so we have collaborated with partners across the UK to make sure her plight is kept in the international spotlight. Our belief is this is the only way to save her from the fundamentalists who wish to see her dead.”
Despite heavy rain at the start of the initial London protest dozens of Christians came out.
Bravely Latasha Sinclair a young Catholic dancer performed a re-enactment of the attack on Asia Bibi, despite wet weather and moving vehicles.
"The Christian Peoples Alliance is demanding that the Government cancel its £405million per year aid to Pakistan until Asia Bibi is set free." Sid Cordle MBE CPA leader said in a speech at the event.
"Pakistan is a sovereign nation and they can make their own laws but there comes a point where what a country is doing is so bad the international community has to say 'enough'.
"They did it with apartheid in South Africa where people were treated as second class citizens because of the colour of their skin.
"Well right now in Pakistan people are treated as second class citizens because of their faith and Asia Bibi is another Nelson Mandella thrown into prison for no other reason than she is a Christian and said so. This has to be stopped".
Asia Bibi was accused of committing blasphemy by her co-workers back in 2009. Later on, in 2010, a court in district Nankana awarded her capital punishment,
which was later challenged and upheld by a two-member bench of Lahore High Court in 2014. Her appeal case is currently pending with the Supreme Court
The appeal case was postponed when one of the member judge refused to be part of the full-bench which was to hear the case. Her defense lawyers have
submitted an application to the Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali, to appoint another bench for the case hearing as soon as possible.
Our next protest is in Glasgow:
Date: 11th February 2017 Time: 12:00 - 14:00 Location: Pakistani Consulate, 45 Maxwell Dr, Glasgow G41 5JF Details: Protest will finish at 14:00 and a delegation will travel to Edinburgh to submit petition to Scottish Parliament.