Aasia pardon case – LHC quizzes DAG for hiding govt plan


LAHORE – Justice Nasir Saeed of the Lahore High Court Thursday, hearing a petition against possible grant of the presidential pardon to blasphemy convict Aasia bibi, reproached Deputy Attorney General Nasim Kashmiri for hiding facts from the court regarding the government’s plan on the issue.
The judge was hearing four identical petitions filed by Shahid Iqbal, Nasir Rasool and others seeking the court’s orders for stopping the government from granting the presidential pardon to the blasphemy convict and amending the blasphemy laws. About 25 human rights activists, belonging a Christian NGO and Human Right Commission of Pakistan were also present in the court during the hearing.
The secretary to Governor Punjab Salman Taseer submitted a written report in the court stating the governor had nothing to do with the Aasia Bibi’s pardon case. It admitted that Aasia Bibi had sent an application to the governor’s house for pardon and it was forwarded to the president according to the rules of business.
The deputy attorney general sought 15-day time to submit reply from the federation on the matter. Counsel for the petitioners, Muhammad Azhar Siddique, told the court that during a hearing on December 6, the deputy attorney had claimed that the government was neither pardoning Aasia nor amending the bill in the parliament but now his statement had changed.