Asia Bibi is expected to leave Pakistan “within days” if current plans succeed, but false reports that the Catholic mother of two was already on her way to Canada are not helping her cause, a source close to the Bibi family has said.
“The plan is for her to leave very soon unless diplomatic discussions are disrupted, which is not impossible as it’s very delicate indeed,” the source told the Register Jan. 30 on condition of anonymity.
But, the source added, the “relentless fake news is causing real problems.”
On Tuesday, Pakistan’s Supreme Court upheld its decision last October to overturn Asia’s conviction and death sentence.
Convicted in 2010 of breaching the country’s strict anti-blasphemy laws for allegedly insulting the Prophet Muhammad in a row with her neighbors, Asia spent eight years on death row.
Death threats from Islamist groups followed her acquittal, but she was forbidden from leaving Pakistan pending yesterday’s court ruling.
Now that decision has arrived, she is expected to leave Pakistan at the earliest opportunity to be reunited with her family already living in Canada.
The chances of leaving now entirely rest with the Pakistani government so no one knows when Asia might leave, including the governments involved.
In the meantime, false reports have been emerging, suggesting Asia was already on her way to Canada.
Asia’s official spokesman, Joseph Nadeem, has been in hiding so other figures who are not properly informed of the situation and have no permission to represent Asia Bibi “have filled the vacuum,” according to the source close to the family.
“The truth is that she is still in Pakistan,” the source said.