Aasia Bibi blasphemy case: A symbol of Pak's religious intolerance

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Washington, Dec.14 (ANI): Pakistan's handling of the case of Aasia Bibi, a 45-year-old Christian facing the death penalty for insulting the Quran, symbolizes religious intolerance in that country and a willingness to let extremists have their way.

The government's refusal to repeal or amend the country's blasphemy laws has renewed concerns about its resolve to tackle extremism at home.

According to the Christian Science Monitor (CSM), government officials originally promised to pardon her, but she continues to languish in jail.

Some analysts say the government's apparent willingness to bow to Islamist extremists in the matter could undermine the country's gains in the ongoing battle against the Taliban.

"The government has been trying to rely too much on symbolism, as a substitute for substantive measures," the CSM quoted Ashar Rehman, a senior editor with the Dawn newspaper, as saying.

The mother of five has already spent a year and a half in jail on charges of insulting Islam.

Critics say she's a victim of the legal system.

Bibi now awaits a higher court's verdict, which will determine whether her execution, originally planned for November 8, goes ahead. (ANI)

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