ASIA/PAKISTAN -Lahore (Agenzia Fides) - "There are too many interests at stake behind Asia Bibi’s case. Too many vested interests and too much pressure that, in the end, cover up the truth of the facts", said in an interview with Fides Agency, Haroon Barkat Masih, Director of the "Masihi Foundation", working in Pakistan to improve Christians lives and also in the defense of Christians falsely accused of blasphemy. Following the judgment of appeal that upheld the death sentence for a Christian woman accused of blasphemy, the Director told Fides: "We continue to hope because, as Christians, our faith nourishes hope. We continue to pray for Asia Bibi and for her release, so that the Lord protects and comforts her", said Masih. "But there are many elements that are not conducive to optimism".
According to Barkat, "international pressures and mobilization can be useful", but above all "the political will of the government and of the highest authorities in Pakistan is needed" if one wants to put an end to a history marked by obvious injustices. But current Premier, Nawaz Sharif, "in the past gave ample space to extremist groups and approved the blasphemy law for political calculation: therefore he does not seem the most appropriate to take a stand against these pressures". "Corruption and the desire to exploit the case for economic purposes is another current aspect" adds Haroon Barkat. The director finally recalled that the Supreme Court judgment of conviction can be overturned and that, even in the event of conviction, the President of Pakistan has always power to grant pardons. (PA) (Agenzia Fides 21/10/2014)