Canada in talks with Pakistan over possibly taking in Asia Bibi

Asia Bibi, a Pakistani Christian woman who spent eight years on death row for blasphemy, has been acquitted by Pakistan’s Supreme Court, which triggered nationwide protests. (AFP)
Updated 12 November 2018
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Canada in talks with Pakistan over possibly taking in Asia Bibi

  • Bibi has been blocked from leaving Pakistan after the overturning of her conviction prompted a wave of protests among Islamist hard-liners
  • Her husband has appealed in particular to Britain, Canada and the United States, claiming that Bibi’s life would be in danger as long as she lived in Pakistan

PARIS: Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Monday that his government was holding talks with Pakistan over potentially offering asylum to Asia Bibi, a Christian woman recently freed from prison after her blasphemy conviction was overturned.
“We are in discussions with the Pakistani government,” Trudeau said in an interview with AFP in Paris, where he was attending a peace conference organized by French President Emmanuel Macron.
“There is a delicate domestic context that we respect which is why I don’t want to say any more about that, but I will remind people Canada is a welcoming country,” he said.
Bibi has been blocked from leaving Pakistan after the overturning of her conviction prompted a wave of protests among Islamist hard-liners.
She has since been flown to a “safe place” in the country as several governments have offered to grant her family asylum.
Her husband has appealed in particular to Britain, Canada and the United States, claiming that Bibi’s life would be in danger as long as she lived in Pakistan.
Bibi’s conviction stemmed from a 2009 incident when she was asked to fetch water while out working in the fields.
Muslim laborers objected to her touching the water bowl as a non-Muslim. A fight reportedly erupted, and a local imam then claimed Bibi insulted the Prophet Muhammad.
Bibi has consistently denied the charges and her prosecution rallied international rights groups, politicians and religious figures.


Car bomb targets Indian army vehicle in Kashmir, 2 killed

Updated 11 min 36 sec ago
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Car bomb targets Indian army vehicle in Kashmir, 2 killed

SRINAGAR, India: The Indian army says two soldiers have been killed after a car bombing targeted an armored vehicle in disputed Kashmir.
The bombing late Monday hit the vehicle as it passed through southern Pulwama area and wounded more than a dozen soldiers and two civilians.
The two critically wounded soldiers died in a hospital on early Tuesday.
The attack came days after Pakistan reportedly shared information with India and the United States about a possible militant attack in the Pulwama area. None of the rebel groups fighting against Indian rule since 1989 immediately claimed responsibility.
Also Tuesday, two rebels and a soldier were killed in a gunfight in southern Bijbehara area.