After Supreme Court announced its verdict regarding Asia Bibi’s case and dropped all charges, protests broke out in different parts of Pakistan. Asia Bibi is a Christian woman who was sentenced to death on charges of blasphemy case and now has been dropped of all charges. The Capital, Islamabad has been blocked at many different places with protesters burning tires and creating chaos. The chaos created traffic jams and people got stuck on their way back to their homes. The protesters demand for the Court to reverse its decision and punish Asia Bibi. The Tehreek Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) group called for a rebellion against the army officials and the court’s justices involved in the case.
Prime Minister Imran Khan addressed the nation and the protesters in a video message on Wednesday. He said that he was forced to convey this message to the nation due to the reaction given and the language used by the “small segment” in response to the Supreme Court verdict. The Prime Minister said that the Government will not give in to any sort of propaganda. He said that the court cannot change its verdict if a group of people do not agree with it. He also criticized the protests saying that it has harmed people’s livelihood and has caused them extreme difficulties. He pointed out that the country is already in a state of extreme economic difficulties and the government is already busy handling these problems.
The Prime Minister pointed out that our faith is incomplete if we do not love the Prophet (PBUH). He also said that no government can function when people have a mindset of killing the judges ruling against them and removing the army officials standing against them.
The Prime Minister urged the nation to stay calm and control their sentiments as these agitators are not doing any service to Islam. Imran Khan warned the agitators not to clash with the state and to not take this propaganda to a point where the state will be forced to take action. He said that the state will do everything to protect people’s lives and properties. He also urged the religiopolitical groups to stop harming the state to increase their vote bank.
The Punjab, Sindh and Balochistan governments have imposed section 144. Paramilitary troops have been deployed in Islamabad to prevent the protesters from reaching the Supreme Court. Many Educational Institutions have been closed due to the road blocks. Markets were also closed early, and many people are still finding routes to get back to their homes. The Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl has announced that it will hold country-wide protests against the SC ruling on Friday.
Will the angry agitators fall back after Imran Khan’s address? This might be the first big challenge for the new Government. All eyes on Imran Khan and his government as the country finds itself in yet another problem.