A British campaigner who has worked alongside Asia Bibi in advocating for her freedom has told Faithwire that the Christian mother is likely to be released from the country “in a matter of days.” Despite earlier reports that Bibi was being held against her will following a Supreme Court decision that declared she must be freed immediately, British Pakistani Christian Association’s Wilson Chowdhry insisted that the Pakistani authorities are committed to keeping her safe.
“Our belief is that Asia Bibi and Ashiq Masih are in good care,” Chowdhry told Faithwire. Masih is Bibi’s husband.
“Officials from their future country of residence are providing security and all essentials to the family,” Chowdhry noted, adding that “Pakistani security forces are also very involved in the security of the family.”
It is understood that Bibi’s children are already safely in Canada, and that Bibi and her husband will soon join them, following an asylum request that was approved by the Canadian government.
When will Bibi finally leave?
There have been numerous rumors swirling regarding the whereabouts of Asia Bibi. Latest reports indicate that she is being held at a facility in the coastal city of Karachi, but the time and date of her final release remains a mystery.
“The exact date and time of exit of the family is known by only a small handful of officials from Pakistan and the country of safe haven,” Chowdhry told Faithwire. “However, my belief is that the exit will be conducted in a matter of days.”
Why has it taken so long to get her out of the country?
With the Supreme Court overturning Bibi’s blasphemy conviction last October, many of her supporters are baffled by the length of time it has taken the Pakistani government to arrange her safe passage from the country — particularly given that her life is in grave danger while she remains in the Muslim-majority nation.
Chowdhry, however, explained that the delay is as a result of certain “bureaucratic processes and the need to ensure good health of the couple.”
Yesterday, it was reported that Bibi was being held in a new “secure area.”
Aman Ullah, who spoke to Bibi by telephone Friday, told The Associated Press that the embattled mother had “no indication of when she will leave” and noted that her door is only opened at “food times.”
In the wake of her death sentence being overturned last October, radical Islamist party Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP), petitioned the Supreme Court to reconsider one final time. Subsequently, in January, the highest court in the land rejected this last appeal and demanded that Asia Bibi be set free immediately.
“Based on merit, this petition is dismissed,” Chief Justice Asif Saeed Khosar said in the court’s ruling last month.
In this latest development, Ullah explained that his conversations with diplomats resulted in the promise that Bibi would be released “in the medium-term,” according to The Guardian. He has been forced to flee the country due to threats from Islamic extremists that have arisen as a result of his advocacy work with Bibi. He confirmed that Asia’s children are now safely residing in Canada.
Do continue to pray for Asia Bibi and her family — that she might be set free at the earliest possible time.