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Reports of Aasia leaving Pakistan 'fake': Minister

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November 12, 2018 21:10


The Pakistan government on Monday rejected the reports claiming Aasia Bibi has fled abroad, saying the images on the social media showing the recently-acquitted Christian woman being greeted overseas are 'fake'.

Bibi, a 47-year-old mother of four, was release from Multan jail last week after the Supreme Court in its landmark decision acquitted her of blasphemy charges.

She was convicted in 2010 after being accused of insulting Islam in a row with her neighbours. Bibi always maintained her innocence, but spent most of the past eight years in solitary confinement.

"Fake news is a big challenge. Aasia Bibi is in Pakistan and images of her leaving the country and greeted abroad are fake," Federal Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry told PTI.

He said some media outlets showed irresponsibility by reporting that Bibi had left the country after her release from the jail.

Chaudhry said the government was considering to introduce a law to regulate the social media.

"There is a need to check the unchecked social media and bring it within the ambit of law," he said, adding that fake news and fake notifications come up from fake accounts on social media on almost daily basis and needed to be checked.

Bibi's acquittal sparked violent protests from radical Islamists across Pakistan.

The Imran Khan-led government had agreed to their demand to stop her from leaving Pakistan and extend its help to place her name on no-fly list.

The BBC Urdu's report that she had been taken to another country created a lot of confusion and the Foreign Office had to issue a clarification that Bibi was in the country.

Earlier, Bibi's husband had appealed to US President Donald Trump and premiers of the UK and Canada to help her and other family members leave Pakistan as their lives were in danger. Italy had offered asylum to Bibi.

Reacting to the uproar over Aasia's acquittal, Mumbai attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed's Jamaat-ud-Dawah (JuD) said it had 'some reservations over the Aasia Bibi acquittal' but respects the national institutions including the judiciary.  -- PTI

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