ISLAMABAD: Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Director General (DG) Major General Asif Ghafoor said that Aasiya Bibi’s case is “a legal issue and dragging the military into the problem is unfortunate”.
He commented on the case during an interview with a local TV channel and said, “Bibi’s case was being heard in courts for the past 10 years,” adding that “it is a legal matter and it will be better if the law is allowed to run its course on the matter”.
The ISPR DG further said, “Religious parties staged protests against the Supreme Court’s verdict.”
“Dragging the army into every matter is unfortunate,” he added.
“The armed forces hope that the matter is resolved without disruption of peace,” he said in as protests organised by Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) across the country enter third day.
The Supreme Court on October 31 acquitted Aasiya Bibi who was previously convicted of blasphemy by the lower courts.
“All Muslims love the Prophet (PBUH) and there can be no compromise on that, Islam teaches us peace, forgiveness and love,” said the DG ISPR.
He also urged the protesters to avoid making statements against the legal structure of Pakistan, its constitution and the armed forces.
“The Pakistan Army is working on eliminating terrorism from the country. Peace will be maintained across the country,” Ghafoor said.
“We should not drift away from what Islam teaches us nor the law. We want the situation to be resolved in a peaceful manner,” DG ISPR elaborated.
“In accordance with the law and Constitution, people should refrain from statements against the army.”
“We are close to winning the war against terrorism and our attention should not be diverted,” he asserted.
The Major General explained that the army would play its constitutional role if asked by the government.
In response to a question about TLP chief Khadim Rizvi’s allegations that the army had threatened to “destroy” his party, Ghafoor said that”During negotiations, discussions can get heated,” adding that members of the Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) were part of the delegation that attempted to negotiated with the protesters.
“These decisions are very difficult, you have to tackle law and order situations like the current one,” he added.