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AfPak File: The Aasia Bibi Case: Significance and Implications

November 19, 201847:23

On October 31, Pakistan’s Supreme Court acquitted Aasia Bibi, a Christian woman who had been on death row for nearly a decade on blasphemy charges. It was a milestone decision in a country where the law is often unkind to religious minorities. Islamist hardliners took to the streets to protest the decision, and eventually, they signed an agreement with the government that ensured that her case would be reviewed.

Bibi reportedly is out of prison but remains in Pakistan, where her life is in danger, while arrangements are sought for her to get asylum abroad. This latest episode of the AfPak File podcast discusses the Supreme Court’s landmark decision, and what the consequences are and will be for Pakistan.

Panelists included Mehr Tarar, an author and columnist; Madiha Afzal, a visiting fellow at the Brookings Institution and author of a new book on extremism in Pakistan; Ahmad Shah Azamy, a reporter with RFE/RL's Radio Mashaal; and Michael Kugelman, deputy director and senior associate for South Asia with the Asia Program at the Wilson Center. Muhammad Tahir, media manager for RFE/RL in Washington, DC, moderated the discussion.

This podcast was originally published by RFE/RL.


Muhammad Tahir

Media Manager, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty

Asia Program

The Asia Program promotes policy debate and intellectual discussions on U.S. interests in the Asia-Pacific as well as political, economic, security, and social issues relating to the world’s most populous and economically dynamic region.   Read more