—Justice Nisar asks if now every person has to provide proof of their faith
ISLAMABAD: As religio-political parties threatened judiciary and other state institutions following the top court’s acquittal of Aasiya Bibi on blasphemy charges, Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar on Thursday asked how the court could punish someone if the charges against them could not be proven.
The top judge’s remarks came as he heard the federal government’s plea regarding the appointment of a new Islamabad inspector general of police (IGP) in light of the security situation as protests are taking place across the country after the court acquitted a Christian woman sentenced to death over blasphemy allegations.
“We are ready to sacrifice our lives for the Prophet (PBUH)” Justice Nisar said. “But if there is no proof against someone then how can we punish them?” the chief justice remarked.
“We began our judgement with the first kalma. We do not love the Prophet (PBUH) any less than anyone else. We have judges on our bench who are always reciting the Durood Sharif. Our faith is incomplete without our faith in our Prophet (PBUH),” he said.
Justice Nisar said that the judgement had also been written in Urdu so that ordinary citizens could read it and understand it.
“I have not seen God, but I have learned to recognise Him through the Prophet’s (PBUH) guidance,” he added.
“Will every person now have to provide proof of their faith?” he asked.
Speaking about the ongoing protests following the top court’s verdict acquitting Aasiya Bibi, Justice Nisar said, “The state should fulfil its responsibility to maintain peace in the country like the prime minister said last night.”
A day earlier, the Supreme Court acquitted Bibi and ordered her immediate release, noting that a person falsely using Holy Prophet (PBUH) for personal gains also commits blasphemy.
On Wednesday, Prime Minister Imran Khan had appealed to the nation to remain vigilant against those who incite violence, warning that the state will take action against the violators to fulfil its duty of protecting the people.
“The state will fulfil its responsibility of protecting the lives and properties of people and take strict action against violators.” the premier had said while addressing the nation on TV and radio on Wednesday.
He had also said the reaction on the Supreme Court (SC) decision in Aasiya Bibi case by a small segment of society was inappropriate.
“Pakistan is the only country in the world that was created on the name of Islam, after Medina. It means there will be no law against the teachings of Islam in the country,” he had said, adding that the language used against the SC judges, army chief and other important personalities is intolerable.
“We do not have any law against the Holy Quran and the Sunnah, and the judges decide the cases according to the Constitution of the country,” the prime minister had said.
“Pakistan talked to the Dutch ambassador, raised the issue at OIC forum and also spoke at the United Nations against the blasphemy. Due to our successful diplomacy, the European Court of Human Rights also said that blasphemy is different from freedom of expression,” he had stated.
He also took a serious note of the offensive speeches by some religious leaders, who were provoking the people against the judges and for mutiny against the senior generals.
He had said the country is already in the grip of a financial crisis and the cabinet is working day and night to ameliorate the things. PM Khan had said the attitude of coming to streets against the verdicts of the top court that are not according to someone’s wishes is not right.
He said the protests will cause damage to the fragile national economy and the people, adding that the military forces have played a key role in eradicating the menace of terrorism by giving huge sacrifices in this struggle.
PM Khan had also asked the inciters not to mislead the people. He said, “We will be forced to act if the roads are blocked and the lives and property of the people are put at stake.”
“Do not test the patience of the state,” Imran Khan had said and vowed to protect the lives and property of the people at all costs.