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Pakistan: Blasphemy case against Sherry Rehman

Saturday 7 December 2013, by siawi3


ISLAMABAD, January 18, 2013
Updated: January 18, 2013 01:47 IST

Anita Joshua

The Supreme Court on Thursday approved for admission a blasphemy case filed against Pakistan’s Ambassador to the U.S. Sherry Rehman.

The case pertains to comments made by Ms. Rehman on a television talk show in 2010 when the blasphemy issue was prised open following a sessions court decision to sentence a Christian woman, Aasia Bibi, to death under Section 295-C of the Pakistan Penal Code.

The petition was filed by a resident of Multan. The decision to allow this petition comes at a time when the Supreme Court has drawn criticism from civil society for not taking suo motu notice of targeted attacks on Hazara Shias, who have begun fleeing the country for fear of genocide.

Ms. Rehman — a member of the National Assembly then — was in the eye of the storm between November 2010 and February 2011 for drafting a bill to amend the blasphemy laws.

Under pressure from her own Pakistan Peoples Party, she decided not to pursue the matter.

In fact, Ms. Rehman’s life was under threat following the assassination of Punjab Governor Salman Taseer for picking up cudgels for Aasia Bibi and she was practically confined to her residence for sometime.

Later in 2011, she was appointed Pakistan’s Ambassador to the U.S.