LAHORE: The Punjab government on Wednesday withdrew security for Aasia Bibi’s counsel Saiful Malook, four days after Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar ordered Punjab police to restore police security for Malook.
Talking to Pakistan Today, Malook said that at 7 pm on Wednesday, the three police personnel posted for his security were withdrawn by SP (headquarters) and were asked to report back to the police line.
He said that he tried to contact Lahore CCPO but did not receive any response, after which he contacted advocate general since the security was provided to him by the Supreme Court. The advocate general said that the courts order was implemented in letter and spirit and he will look into the matter.
The development comes as CJP assured on Saturday that the Supreme Court will soon take up the case of Aasia Bibi – a Christian woman who has been on death row since November 2010 after being convicted in a blasphemy case.
“Your appeal in Aasia Bibi case is going to be fixed soon as I myself will preside over the bench,” Chief Justice told Saiful Malook, the counsel for 51-year-old Bibi, on Saturday.
Malook expressed the hope that the case might be listed for hearing in the next couple of weeks as the CJP had also assured him that all criminal appeals would be decided by July.
Malook is also representing four other blasphemy accused and was the prosecutor in the Salman Taseer assassination case.
The chief justice also asked the Punjab police to restore police security for Malook and asked the advocate-general of Punjab to consult the inspector general of police in this regard.
During the hearing, the CJP said he personally knew Malook and his need for police security was genuine.
The CJP had on last Thursday ordered the federal and provincial governments to withdraw police security for all unentitled persons within 24-hours, following which security for Aasia bibi’s lawyer had been removed by the Punjab police.
Malook moved an application in the apex court’s Lahore Registry on Saturday, stating that on Friday night, he had been intimated by the Punjab police that they were withdrawing his three police guards in view of the CJP’s fresh directives.