Murder in the Name of Allah: Asia Bibi and Pakistan’s Blasphemy Law

The Pakistani Supreme Court’s release of Asia Naureen, a mother of five from Pakistan’s shrinking Christian community who was imprisoned nine years ago on trumped-up blasphemy charges, has riled up the religious right and spiralled into scorching new waves of violence. The Supreme Court, however, had no qualms with mandatory death sentences for insults against the Prophet.

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Mango Scented Sovereignty: Pakistan’s Chief Justice Saqib Nisar and Baba-justice

Politicization of the judiciary is a global trend. Pakistan’s Supreme Court is a particularly worrying example. With an ad-campaign, the Court is currently collecting donations for an ambitious dam project to resolve Pakistan’s looming water crises. Chief Justice Saqib Nisar would certainly prefer, as he convincingly repeats, a more pliant courtly existence. But the catastrophic shortcomings of the executive and legislature force him to take on big infrastructure projects – the failures have also pushed him to tackle school curriculums, fees for private medical school, pension of bank employees, random quality-checks in hospitals, surprise inspections of lower courts and ordering the arrest of a high ranking police officer who shared indecent images of his estranged wife on Facebook.

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