Providing the Pakistani state permit her survival, or contingent on prevailing health, 2019 will mark the 10th year of Asia Bibi’s arrest and subsequent imprisonment over what was, quite literally, a dispute between her and Muslim women at a local well. If you don’t know at this stage (particularly as I’ve attempted to highlight her ordeal numerously on this platform), Khala Bibi’s case remains as one of the most prolific – in Persecuted Christian terms at least. The fact that a local Christian woman, a local labourer in Punjab, Pakistan has been left to languish in a jail cell for a decade – over essentially what was local Muslim objection to an ‘infidel’s’ use of a village well, spells out not only the dire state of Pakistani Islamisation that shows no signs of reversing; but also the unashamed indifference towards Bibi. Not necessarily only amongst many Pakistani politicians and its judicial system but within countries officially professing Christianity as their state religion. And of course, the Global Christian Church.
Whilst it is encouraging that Bibi’s plight has not slipped from global attention, however sporadic, (the European Parliament awarded Bibi its 2017 Sakharov Prize, for Freedom of Thought), identity politics and the politics of ‘altruism’ does not directly influence the daily treatment of a mother and wife; deprived of her children and in constant deterioration health-wise. I have been following Bibi’s suffering from the moment her ordeal surfaced in 2009. I was 14/15 at the time. I simply can not pen how such draconian circumstances have allowed almost a decade to pass by, with an innocent villager still sat behind bars. It is incomprehensible to the civilised mind.
However, that has been Asia Bibi’s cross to bear and continues to remain so. I don’t write this post to reiterate all past mentions of her. (All past posts can be found by punching her name into the blog’s search engine). Rather, I recieved alarming news from a reliable source, that Bibi’s health is rapidly on the decline. Duties of care concerning detainees is not applicable in countries in Pakistan, particularly a vulnerable Christian woman who has been accused of blasphemy – the most contentious and salient political issue that has seen the murders of former Minorities Minister, Bhatti and former Punjab Minister, Taseer,murdered for daring to challenge the blatant anti-nonMuslim mentality and motives within Pakistan’s penal code. After 9 years of sitting on what has been death row in a country that continues to chip away at its founding promise to enshrine religious and ethnic minority rights, one can imagine the state of Bibi’s health.
Without major campaigning for her release, effective lobbying to our local/national leaders, who barely speak out against Christian persecution, much less instill financial impositions on the billions of aid pumped out to Muslim-oriented countries such as Pakistan; Bibi is fundamentally at the mercy of the Pakistani state. Her family continue to live in terror, tainted by blasphemy and in constant flight for their lives.
Today I have been informed that Asia continues to cough up blood whilst being denied access to medical treatment.