The blasphemy laws are not a heartache for Asia Bibi only, but her family also suffers from the agony followed by the ghastly episode of tragedy.
Asia Bibi’s blasphemy case is of extraordinarily sensitive nature and high-profile one. Her husband Aahiq Massih and her five children talked with the BBC and portrayed their predicament since they have been on the run since Asia was arrested.
Aashiq Masih said, “The danger of someone killing any of them hung over him every day. We get death threats,” he said, adding as he apparently with a worried and wearied look.
“We can’t stay in one place for very long. We live in hiding. It’s very hard especially for the children. They can’t settle down or study,” he added. “It’s not a normal life to be constantly living in fear.”
The tale of dilemma was also narrated by Asia Bibi’s 14-year-old daughter Esham. “They went to fields and beat her and tore her clothes. They beat her in front of us.” As she recounted the account of her mother’s quandary she was trying her utmost to hold back her tears to roll out of her eyes.
“We were crying, begging them to let her go and stop hitting her. They did that for almost one hour. They also hit me when I tried to defend her,” Esham continued while agony imprinted on her soul was evident from her shaky voice.
“At the time I could not understand why this was happening to my mother, and was told later that it was about blasphemy. I try to forget the way she was beaten and tortured that day,” Esham said.
Aashiq Masih almost in a weepy tone said “The blasphemy law had destroyed our lives. I call on the international community to help. And I ask the Pakistani government to review this law.”
Asia Bibi’s daughters who are now able to realize the nature of charges brought against their mother and the consequences applicable to them visit her from time to time but seeing her in prison is not an easy affair.
“We see her after many days. We asked the warden to open the cell so we can hug her, but he didn’t. My mother hugged and kissed us from behind the bars. She cried deep from her heart,” Esham barely uttered.
Asia Bibi a Pakistani Christian woman was accused of committing blasphemy by her fellow workers in 2009. In 2010, she was awarded death sentence, however, later appeal was filed against the ruling which was rejected by the Lahore High Court in 2014, and most recently, her appeal case is pending for a hearing before the Supreme Court.