Pakistan blasphemy lawyer says EU, UN made him leave 'against my wishes'

THE HAGUE: The Pakistani lawyer who saved a Christian lady convicted of blasphemy from loss of life row said Monday that the UN and EU made him depart the country "against my wishes" as a result of his life was in peril.

Saif-ul-Malook, who has fled to the Netherlands, said he contacted a United Nations legitimate in Islamabad after Islamist violence erupted following the Pakistani Supreme Court's acquittal of Asia Bibi on Wednesday.

"And then they (the UN) and the European nation ambassadors in Islamabad, they kept me for three days and then put me on a plane against my wishes," the lawyer advised a press conference in The Hague.

"I pressed them that I might no longer depart the country until I get Asia out of the jail... I am not happy to be here with out her however, however everybody said that you're the top goal nowadays and the entire world is taking care of Asia Bibi.

"They have been of the view that I was the top goal to be killed, and that my life was in approaching risk. For 3 days they didn't let me open the door, in the future I called the French ambassador and said I don't want to be here."

The lawyer had in the past advised AFP earlier than his departure on Saturday that he was leaving as a result of "in the present situation, it isn't imaginable for me to live in Pakistan".

Saif-ul-Malook arrived in The Hague at the weekend after a brief stopover in Rome, with the help of the HVC Foundation, a Dutch group that specializes in the human rights of Christian minorities.

Asia Bibi spent just about a decade on loss of life row after being accused of blasphemy after a dispute with fellow villagers. The fee is an inflammatory one in Muslim-majority Pakistan.

- 'Face-saving exercise' - But she stays in Pakistan after Prime Minister Imran Khan struck a care for with the Islamist hardliners in the back of the protests.

Saif-ul-Malook pushed aside the deal as a "face-saving" exercise for the hardliners from the Tehreek-e-Labaik party and insisted that Asia Bibi would "100 p.c" be freed quickly.

"This compromise is not anything however a piece of paper that can be thrown in the dustbin," he said.

It was no longer clear whether or not Bibi had had any firm offers of asylum if she does depart Pakistan, added the lawyer, who said he was "legally accepted" to choose a country for her.

The lawyer said a UN legitimate in Pakistan advised him "we are taking care of her" but that "when I said which country, they said we will be able to't say.

"I asked the French ambassador 'would your country be willing to offer asylum to Asia Bibi. He said if you request us legally, I said 'OK I request her'."
Pakistan blasphemy lawyer says EU, UN made him leave 'against my wishes' Pakistan blasphemy lawyer says EU, UN made him leave 'against my wishes' Reviewed by Kailash on November 06, 2018 Rating: 5
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