The Supreme Court of Pakistan has adjourned the hearing of Asia Bibi blasphemy case for an indefinite period after a judge rescued himself from the bench.
At the outset, Justice Iqbal Hameedur Rahman rescued himself from the three-member bench hearing the blasphemy case. “I was a part of the bench that was hearing the case of Salmaan Taseer, and this case is related to that,” he told the court.
The bench comprising Justice Mian Saqib Nisar, Justice Iqbal Hameedur Rahman and Justice Manzoor Ahmad Malik was formed to hear the appeal filed by Asia Bibi, a Christian mother of five who has been on death row since 2010.
Now the chief justice will reconstitute the panel for the case. The court did not immediately set a new date for the appeal.
Earlier today, hundreds of security forces were deployed in Islamabad to maintain law and order.
“Security is very tight in Islamabad all around today. Additional troops have been deployed on checkpoints and city junctions in general. There is also deployment of paramilitary force Rangers and FC (Frontier Corps) on some additional points,” a police source told AFP.
Asia Bibi was convicted and sentenced to hang in 2010 after an argument with a Muslim woman over a bowl of water. Her supporters maintain her innocence and insist it was a personal dispute.