Aasia Bibi, a Christian woman who had been falsely accused of blasphemy in 2009, finally got acquitted in October 2018 but was not allowed to leave the country till a review petition was rejected by the apex court on January 29, 2019. However, even after the rejection of this review plea it took Aasia Bibi over three months to finally get out of the country and leave for Canada. It became one of the most high profile blasphemy cases in the history of the country since it was for Aasia Bibi that Salmaan Taseer, former governor of Punjab, was gunned down by Mumtaz Qadri on January 4, 2011. Qadri’s case continued for four years before he was finally handed death sentence and executed in Rawalpindi on February 29, 2016. His execution gave birth to Tehreek-e-Labbayk Pakistan (TLP) party that repeatedly staged sit-ins in Islamabad, Lahore and other parts of Pakistan, including the infamous 2017 Faizabad dharna against a constitutional amendment. The Supreme Court of Pakistan in a judgment earlier this year found security agencies involved in perpetrating that sit-in. TLP also staged a sit-in in October 2019 when Aasia Bibi was acquitted by the Supreme Court. Its leaders called for mutiny in the armed forces and murder of the judges after which entire top leadership of the party was rounded up and taken into protective custody. As Aasia moved out of the country, top leadership of TLP languishes in jails.
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