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Imran Khan says Asia Bibi will leave Pakistan ‘in weeks’

Asia Bibi
Asia Bibi

PAKISTAN prime minister Imran Khan has promised that Christian mother Asia Bibi will leave the country in a few week’s time.

Bibi was freed from death row on blasphemy charges five months back, and despite Canada giving her asylum she is yet to leave Pakistan.

“There is a little bit of a complication. And I can’t speak on the media about [it],” Khan told the BBC, adding “I can assure you she is safe and she will be leaving in weeks.”

A source close to Bibi had said she wasn’t safe until she left Pakistan. “There are powerful people who want her dead,” the source was quoted as saying.

The 53-year-old was supposed to leave Pakistan for Canada in January. Her two daughters have already moved to Canada after prime minister Justin Trudeau offered asylum.

Bibi’s youngest daughter, 18-year-old Eisham Aashiq, earlier appealed to prime minister Khan to let Bibi leave Pakistan.

“I would like to tell him to think about us, and release my mother. We love Pakistan very much, and my mummy will never speak against Pakistan as she loves it too,” she was quoted as saying.

Bibi was convicted in 2010 of offending Prophet Mohammed following an argument with her neighbours over a cup of water.

In October 2018, Bibi was freed on appeal and her acquittal led hardline Islamist leaders to call for the death of the judges who made the decision.

Following widespread protests, the government barred Bibi from leaving the country, with hardline Islamists threatening to track her down and kill her.

Some have suggested they would pursue her abroad if she leaves the country.