(2 Nov 2018) The release of a Christian woman in Pakistan who was acquitted after she was sentenced to death for blasphemy has apparently been delayed after talks failed between the government and Islamists who wanted her publicly hanged.
Pakistan’s Supreme Court on Wednesday overturned the 2010 conviction of Asia Bibi on charges of insulting Islam’s Prophet Muhammad.
Since then, Islamists have blocked highways and damaged or set fire to dozens of vehicles to pressure the government to stop her release from an undisclosed detention facility.
Islamists were to hold nationwide rallies after Friday’s prayers, stoking fears violence.
Karachi resident Najam Khan said some people were scared to leave their homes and public transportation was limited.
Pakistan shut down schools and colleges after radical cleric Khadim Hussain Rizvi, the leader of Tehreek-e-Labbaik party, announced that “talks” between his deputies and the government about Bibi’s fate had failed.
He asked his supporters to continue sit-ins as authorities summoned paramilitary troops to restore order.
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