Pakistani authorities on Thursday rejected as "fake news" reports that a Christian woman who was released from a jail a week after the Supreme Court overturned her conviction and death sentence for blasphemy has left for the Netherlands.
"Aasia Bibi was released from New Jail for Women Multan (some 350 kilometers from Lahore) on Wednesday midnight. She is taken to Noor Khan Airbase Rawalpindi where a chartered plane will take her to Netherlands, " 24News reported on Thursday.
"There is no truth in reports about Bibi leaving the country it is fake news," he said.
"It has become a norm to publish fake news for sake of headlines, #AsiaBibi case is sensitive issue it was extremely irresponsible to publish news of her leaving the country without confirmation, I strongly urge section of media to act responsible," he said.
Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) of Khadim Hussain Rizvi spokesperson Hafiz Shahbaz Attari issued a statement to media saying "the Imran Khan government has released Aasia Bibi as the Netherlands ambassador in Islamabad reached Multan jail along with the government officials to ensure her release. She is being transported to Netherlands."
He said a call has been given to the workers who are gathering in Islamabad and Rawalpindi to stop the government to allow Aasia leave the country.
The apex court verdict on Bibi prompted immediate anger from a Islamist party that has threatened to paralyse daily life countrywide with street protests if her acquittal is not reversed.
Her husband had also urged the US president, and the UK and Canada premiers to help her leave the country for her life.
Her acquittal triggered street protests by radical Islamists paralysing Pakistan for three days, blocking roads, torching vehicles, damaging public and private properties and attacking policemen for three days.
However, hours after the killing of Godfather of Taliban Maulana Samiul Haq, the TLP Friday announced ending sit-ins across the country following reaching a deal with the government on the issue of acquittal of Bibi. As per the agreement, the government will immediately initiate a process to place the name of Bibi on the no-fly list (exit control list).
Bibi was convicted in 2010 after being accused of insulting Islam in a row with her neighbours. She always maintained her innocence, but has spent most of the past eight years in solitary confinement
Police had arrested over 1,000 workers of the TLP mostly from Punjab province but later released almost all of them on the threat of the radicals that they would block roads if the TLP workers were not released.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)