Pakistani supporters of Jamaat-e-Islami (JI), a religious political party, chant slogans and gestures while waving the party flag during a protest following the Supreme Court decision to acquit Christian woman Asia Bibi of blasphemy, in Karachi on November 4, 2018. (Photo: RIZWAN TABASSUM/AFP/Getty Images)

Prime minister Theresa May on Wednesday (13) pledged to protect Pakistani Christian Asia Bibi, but stopped short of offering her asylum in the UK.

May said her “primary concern” was the safety of Bibi and her family, but Britain is yet to grant them asylum, their lawyer Saif ul Mulook was quoted as saying by Mail Online.

Mulook said: “Right now, she is safe, she is being kept secure by the Pakistan armed forces. But she will leave the moment a country offers her a visa. So far, the UK has refused. One of the British MEPs I spoke to here said it was a case of the UK government saying ‘No, no, no, we have to spend a lot of money, and we’re not ready.’

“But something must happen soon.”

Mulook said he wants foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt to be “bold and courageous and take her and her family to safety.”

According to reports, talks are currently underway with Canada to secure a safe future there for Bibi and her family.

“We are in discussions with the Pakistani government,” Trudeau said in an interview with Agence France Presse. “There is a delicate domestic context that we respect which is why I don’t want to say any more about that, but I will remind people Canada is a welcoming country,” he added.

Bibi spent eight years on death row in Pakistan after she was convicted of blasphemy following a row with Muslim colleagues over a cup of water. Last month she was acquitted on appeal and has been in hiding to avoid being lynched by Islamic extremists.

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