Radicals in Pakistan oppose Imran, blocking the nation over blasphemy acquittal

Radicals in Pakistan oppose Imran, blocking the nation over blasphemy acquittal
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Imran Khan representing PTI

Pakistani Islamist protesters freezed life across the nation for a second day by blocking roads in all major cities, destroying vehicles and forcing shopkeepers and traders to shut their businesses after the Supreme Court’s release of a Christian woman in a blasphemy case

The Supreme court of Pakistan earlier freed Asia Bibi, a mother of four, who had been living on death row since 2010. She was the first woman sentenced to death by hanging under Pakistan’s controversial blasphemy laws.

The speculation is widespread that she and her family will leave Pakistan due to the threat to their lives, and the whereabouts of Asia Bibi and her family are not known.

Tehreek-i-Labaik Pakistan (TLP) was at the forefront of the countrywide protests.

Muhammad Afzal Qadri, a TLP co-founder in a protest rally said, “The chief justice and two others deserve to be killed,” Khadim Hussain Rizvi, the TLP chief and the main force behind the protests, called for the assassination of the chief justice who acquitted her.

Mr Qadri further added that “Either their security guards, their drivers, or their chefs should kill them,” he said threatening to block roads across the country until the judges were removed from their posts. He also called for the dismissal of Khan’s new government and urged army officers to stand up against the military chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa.

The train services remained suspended from Lahore to other cities, due to the ongoing violent protests, all major roads in Lahore were blocked by Islamists.